Celebrations of successes must be tempered by reflections on failures. The present emphasis on festivities must be followed by sober and serious debate and reflections on what ails the country and the construction of solutions for its betterment. We have many things for which to be grateful and thankful as a nation celebrating 50 years of political Independence.
As a young Jamaican of Indian and African descent, I was elated and proud to see that the opening dance at the Jamaica 50 celebrations at the stadium on Monday was a traditional Indian dance "Bollywood-style". However, I was disappointed beyond belief when I realised that a precious few of the dancers were of Indian descent, which would leave me to conclude that not many Indians are living in Jamaica.
In this our 50th year of Independence it is disrespectful and disgraceful that the necessary arrangements could not have been made for Jamaicans of Indian descent to perform the dance. If enough Indian dancers were not available in Kingston and St Andrew, the Jamaica 50 Secretariat could have travelled to St Catherine and Westmoreland and got more Indo-Jamaicans involved in the celebrations.
Minister of Culture Lisa Hanna should apologise to the people of Jamaica and especially to those of Indian descent. The evidence clearly indicates that we are a talented and creative people and that we have punched above our weight class. We have done quite well in sports, tourism and culture and we should celebrate these successes. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in her Independence Day message said: "Let us celebrate all our peoples, the Indians, Africans, Middle-Eastern, Europeans and Chinese."
I respectfully submit: people of Indian descent were not properly represented.