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The Jhandi & the Cross -the Clash of Cultures in Post - Creole Trinidad and Tobago


Selwyn Ryan


Although this book is entitled The Jhandi and the Cross, it deals with much more than the relationships between the various Christian and Hindu sects in Trinidad and Tobago. While this theme assumes dominance, several other cleavages are identified and analysed. The following are some of the issues which have been discussed in our study.

Is there a collective personality that one can identify as being peculiarly Trinidadian, or are there cultural differences which affect behaviour patterns? What is mainly responsible for the pattern of wealth distribution which obtains in Trinidad and Tobago: history, culture, or conjuncture? Is the structure of greed and acquisitiveness more highly developed within Indo-Trinidadian society than it is within Afro-Trinidadian society? Which regime has been more parasitic, felonius and predatory, the "new" UNC or the "old" PNM? Who suffered more as a result of slavery, indenture and colonialism, Africans or Indians? Is the style of governance practiced by the UNC fundamentally different from that of previous PNM governments? If so, do the differences stem from the economic logic of predation or from intrinsic cultural or ethno-regional differences? Are Sanatanist Hindus seeking to achieve hegemonic Status in the wake of the progressive dissolution of creole dominance or is their aim the achievement of parity? Are we all "creoles" now?

The book does not and could not answer definitively all the questions that were raised by the contending elements. In fact, it did not set out to do so. The main aim was to reveal and record what the various groups and subgroups said about the issues and with what effect. It also speculates as to what might be the outcome, both intended and unintended, of the "clash of culture" as the new millennium replaces the old.




976 618 031 8


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