The first phase in the big legal battle over the Trinity
Cross as the nations highest award ended in the San
Fernando High Court last week. Presiding judge Peter Jamadar
will deliver his written judgment at a later date.
But Justice Jamadar, during the course of the hearing, did
acknowledge that the San Fernando High Court might not be
the final court where legal objections to the Trinity Cross
will be ventilated.
Dr Fenton Ramsahoye, QC, who represented the Maha Sabha, also
said other appellate courts may be drawn into the final decision.
And attorney John Horan, who flew in from London to represent
the Islamic Relief Centre, did announce intention to involve
international human rights agencies and even the United Nations.
Dr Ramsahoye, lawyer Anand Ramlogan and Mr Horan laid out
a call for the removal of the Trinity Cross. Senior Counsel
Russell Martineau and lawyer Debra Peake defended the right
of the State to retain the Trinity Cross as the nations
The Catholic Church and a number of other established churches
have raised no objection to the removal of the Trinity Cross.
But there are some spokesmen who insist on imposing their
ill-informed views on the leadership of their church.
His Grace Archbishop Edward Gilbert, who is a foreigner (US
citizen), is often compared to deceased Archbishop Pantin
who was locally born.
In an article written by Marion OCallaghan in the Newsday
of June 13, a headline reads: A fragile Catholic Church.
Marion attempts to imply that the six heads of churches were
manipulated to visit Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday at the
Maximum Security Prison at Golden Grove.
This self-acclaimed expert on the history of India and other
lands put a racial spin on the visit by myself, Haji Noble
Khan, Archbishop Gilbert, Baba Sam Phills, Archbishop Aemilius
Marrain and Rev Cyril Paul, chairman of the Inter-Religious
Organisation. Marion wrote:
Now one expects Shri Sat Maharaj to be anointing Panday.
Pandays UNC is to a large extent that Hindu party began
by Bhadase Maraj, Sats father-in-law and the architect
of a revised Maha Sabha.
There is no surprise to find the Right Rev Cyril Paul
there... Presbyterians have an almost Indian base.
Brother Noble Khan does not surprise us with his presence.
Indian Muslims have increasingly been pushed into declaring
And Marion dismisses the Orisha and Shouter Baptists as
people who have been wooed by Hindus as being indigenous
African religions as against Christianity, and leaders of
both in their quest for legitimacy are easily manipulated.
She questions Archbishop Gilberts presence with these
religious leaders and claims that The Catholic Church
not only spans every ethnic group in the country, it is still
the major religion of those blacks Hindus cant marry.
The faces of Catholic Church congregations tell a different
Marion OCallaghan has not told her readers of the destruction
done by the Aztec civilisation of South America. Nor does
she mention how the Catholic colonial conquerors demolished
the Mayas of Central America.
This womans article attempts to demonise Hinduism and
sanitise the colonial conquering religions. The young generation
should know that at one time only Catholics could be citizens
In the Royal Cedar of Colonisation, the King of Spain declared:
All foreigners, the subjects of powers and nations in
alliance with me, who are desirous of establishing themselves,
or who are already settled in the said island of Trinidad,
shall sufficiently prove to the government thereof, that they
are of the Roman Catholic persuasion, without which they shall
not be allowed.
Neither Marion OCallaghan nor any other power can
alter the fact that Trinidad is now a multireligious, multicultural
and multiracial society.
MAHARAJ is the Secretary General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha