Tears rolled down my eyes when I saw Indian soil: Kamla Persad-Bissessar
JAIPUR: They may have been away for generations and grown up thousands of miles away, but it appears that the emotions attached to the country of forefathers gets passed down through the genes and is kept alive through the culture. This was more than evident during Trinidad and Tobago PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s visit to India this week. From a family which had migrated from Bihar, she rose to become the first woman head of the Caribbean nation. In an interview to TOI on Monday, she talks of her roots and deepening the bonds with India. After attending the Pravasi Diwas in Jaipur, she flies to Bihar to visit her ancestral village. She touched the feet of President Pratibha Patil when they met. “I was told that you in Rajasthan greet people by saying Ram Ram. We in Trinidad say Sitaram ,” she said at the start of the interview.
How satisfying has been your trip to your ‘grandmother’ country?
I am touched by the love, warmth, and hospitality I received here. There are lot memories to take home but the most emotional moment has been when I was touching down in New Delhi. Tears rolled down when I saw the red soil in Delhi from the plane. When I was travelling in Rajasthan people were waving hands, and it felt like I was visiting my own constituency. My son is not that emotional. He thought my trip to India is just another conference, But when he heard about my visit on TV, he too got moved.
Are you looking to build cultural ties with India?
There are lot of similarities in custom and culture between the two countries. We would like to enhance our cultural exchanges with the country, as people in Trinidad and Tobago love to dance to Bollywood music and Indian movies.
Which are the sectors Indian Industry can invest in Trinidad and Tobago?
We have seven pillars of development . India has a cuttingedge information technology industry. We are setting up a technology park. We would like to see technology penetration in edication. Besides, we would like to see cooperation in industries like fashion, filmmaking , ship-building , education , health and energy. We have a hundred years of expertise in oil exploration and gas optimization. Trinidad and Tobago has lot potential for gas. We are going to talk to Reliance industries to develop downstream facilities.