Material Information

Place of Publication:
Tapia House Pub. Co.
Creation Date:
January 12, 1975
completely irregular
Physical Description:
no. : illus. ; 43 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
periodical ( marcgt )


Dates or Sequential Designation:
no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note:
Includes supplements.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Tapia House Pub. Co.. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
000329131 ( ALEPH )
03123637 ( OCLC )
ABV8695 ( NOTIS )

Full Text

Vol. 5 No. 2

NEW YORK 2,1 y.

W All .20

Augustus Ramrekersingh

LAST April a determined
looking Garfield St. Aubyn
Sobers came down the pavilion
steps at the Oval. It was just
after lunch on the final day and
defeat was staring us in the
face. We all remembered the
countless occasions on which
Gary has taken us out of
trouble. We suspected, too,
that we were seeing him walk
to the Oval wicket for the
last time. Would it be a trium-
phant exit? Gary batted well
but it was to be neither his nor
the West Indies day. With his
score on 22 he drove over a
ball from Underwood and he
was bowled. It was a look of
anguish that covered his face
from that moment until his
return to the pavilion. For the
first time that characteristic
big grin present even when

Three cheers for

Garfield Sobers

he made 0 was not to be
seen. Maybe, he, too, suspected
that it was his last test innings,
at least in the West Indies.
As it was in the beginning, so
was it in the end. 20 years ago he
played his first test. Like his last, it
was against England. And like the
first, the WI were at the losing end.
On both occasions England had
fought back to level the series. But
between the beginning and the end
were 20 years of magnificence from
the universally acknowledged
greatest cricketer of all time. The
statistics, impressive as they are -
more than 8000 test runs, over 200
test wickets and over 100 catches
- only tell half the tale of this

genius who graced the cricketing
Gary was one of that great
band of cricketers who emerged in
the West Indies in the 195Ys -
Kanhai, Gibbs,Valentine, Ramadhin,
Hall- and Collie Smith. I first saw
Sobers when he played here against
the Australians in 1955. He scored a
useful 47 after Weekes and Walcott
had scored centuries against the
powerful Aussie attack. As a spinner
he had to pay second fiddle to
Ramadhin, Valentine and the late
(YNeil Gordon Smith. At the time
most people saw him developing
into a good all rounder; few saw
any hint of greatness. Collie Smith
was the one who drew greater

The cricketing world stood
aghast later in the series, when
Sobers was asked to open the
innings, and this stripling lad of 1:
hit the dreaded Miller for 5 fours
in one over. Miller that great player,
was I am sure, dumbfounded. Little
did he know at the time that
Garfield Sobers that brash young
batsmen would replace and sur-
pass him as the greatest player in
the game. Even less did he guess
that in the years to come he would
Loudly sing in praise of Sobers.
As the years went by Gary's
batting improved and his bowling
skills increased. In addition to
orthodox spin, he developed the
back of the hand stuff a'ld also
became a top class fast medium
bowler. In fact, he was for years
possibly the best user of the new
ball. Yet that was not all. He also
became one of the greatest close
to the wicket fieldsmen of all time,
even inventing the famous hip-
pocket position in which he took so
many superb catches, especially off
Continued on Back Page

TION on Oil and Food held at
Chaguaramas has now come to
an end. The official verdict
delivered by Conference Chair-
man Mr. Eldon Warner was that
the objective of the Conference
was "completely fulfilled".
Mr. Warner went on to say,
according to the report in the
Trinidad Guardian, (Thursday 9
January) that the objective of
the Conference was "to give
Exposure to the dimensions and
complexities of the problems
involved in any planned pro-
gramme for increasing food
production locally and for the
With that statement Mr.
Warner succeeded in lifting him-
self out of the utter vacuity
that has characterized his reports
of the,previous days proceedings.
At the same time he has given
the whole ballgame away.
The question we must ask
ourselves is for whom was the
"exposure" intended? The
answer is really not difficult to
find. Oil is our most important
national resource, Food is our
most important national need;
look who went to this "national"
In the first place, the
entire national press was ex-
cluded from attendance at the
Conference sessions so that
public information was confined
to the non-statements made by
Secondly, no political
groups; no community groups,
no trade unions, no co-operatives,
no housewives, no fishermen, no
people, no shit. The discussions,
said Mr. Warner, kept above the
level of "ole talk" and there
was no "public posturing".
What in fact we have just
witnessed in this country is the


ultimate absurdity, a "National
Conference" for Multi-national
Corporations and other interna-
tional agencies and organizations.
The implications both for
the politics and the economy of
the Country are truly frightening.
The evidence is now overwhelm-
ing that this Government has
absolutely no intention either of
opening up the processes of
government to the people or
even of providing the range of
information on the issues of
national importance which would
allow the people to make judge-
ments free from the ignorance,
confusion and myth in which
we all have wallowed.


This was made abundantly
clear in the recent 1975 Budget
debate. The budget was rushed
through the House on Christmas
Eve and was taken to the Senate
the day after Boxing Day clearly
with the intention of drowning
all meaningful contributions in
the noise of our "rigorous Christ-
mas revelry".
And during the Debate in
the Senate the Government
adamantly and steadfastly re-
fused to allow any extra time to
Tapia Senator Denis Solomon to

complete his contribution on
the most vital of all economic
issues. Oil. This after the Prime
Minister had just spent 8 hours
admiring himself during the
Constitutional Debate.
It is now no longer enough
to try to explain this systematic
manipulation of ignorance, this
paranoid refusal to permit even
the most minimum levels of
Parliamentary or Public debate,
in terms of the Government's
Afro-Saxon contempt for the
intelligence or capacity of our
people and of themselves. Al-
though contemptuous they
certainly are.
Nor is it possible any
longer to speak simply in terms
of their political or technical
incompetence. Although their
every statement and action
points to a total incomprehen-
sion of the meaning of the events
on the world stage and the
potential they bring for the
transformation of our society
and of the Caribbean in general.
The point is that both these
factors, their Afro-Saxon self-
contempt and their political and
technical incompetence, have
combined to force them along a
path that has brought them, and
with them the nation, to an
unprecedentedly dangerous state
of affairs.

To be quite explicit we
now stand threatened by a new
era of conquest and colonisation,
more massive and more sophisti-
cated than that from which we
have not yet fully emerged.
The new conquistadores
were all present at the "National
Conference". W.R. Grace and
Co., Kaiser Chemicals, Mobil Oil,
Tenneco, Hoecst of Germany,
Sumitomo, Dai Nippon, Texaco,
Amoco and Tesoro. Ten in all.
It is now clear that they con-
stitute the Government's new
development plan. A plan which
can be entitled, From Chaguara-
mas to Slavery with a vengeance.


There is one final point. Let
us ask ourselves the question,
in the absence of any attempt to
inform our people, to solicit our
views and to give us a sense of
obligation through participation,
how will the Government achieve
our co-operation, our enterprise
and our involvement in this
massive economic reorganisa-
There is only one way. And
this is where Grace and Tenneco
will inexorably be the successors
of Cortez and Pizzaro. Only this
time it will not be the King of
Spain who will grant the "en-
No, this time the land-
grants, like so much else in this
country, will be the prerogative
our Gracious Little King.

- & bL-- I1 LUII5,- s31CCK

25 Cents

1__________1~_________ b___L~__IY_111__31__IIL___-------



h,19 10



WE consider the negotiations over oil and were right.
food which are taking place now at Chaguara- Completely out of touch with this movement
mas to be the most sinister development in of the times, unable even to swim with the OPEC
the economics of the Caribbee Isles since the After 18 years of countries, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is
slave plantation was first implanted here in a classic candidate for client pwatik. Following the
the middle of the Seventeenth Century. m i (unfinished) Revolution of 1970, the old regime
It is a development which is all the more d iscrim nation failed entirely to respond to the popular yearnings
reprehensible for being anunabashed attempt for a return to the land, for the emancipation of the
reprehensible for being anunabashed attempt national craft instincts of the drag-brothers in an explosion
at voluntary recolonisation by a government gain national of small industry, for the consummation of political
bankrupt of all moral authority and devoid of independence in such co-operative enterprise as
any popular support after full eighteen years enterprise, after would open a new world to multi-racial collabora-
of discrimination against national economic tion, to equality and employment for all our talents.
enterprise. Trinidad and Tobago is a country in which
We cannot conceive of any more lunatic Waiting in vain f or business control and land holding exhibit patterns
conspiracy against the people of this country than diametrically at variance with the demands of
the Prime Minister's present scheme to place the justice. While over 80% of the population are black
responsibility for feeding us in the hands of the giant pi ne er m anfacturi ng or brown, 77% of the business elite are white or off-
multi-national corporations, notorious for the depre- white. At the same time, 0.1% of the holdings
nations they habitually- visit on poorer countries. t create jobs account for full 25% of the land not held by the
Now that we have frittered away two precious to rea e JUthe Crown. There are 36,000 holdings, in all, but
decades waiting in vain for pioneer foreign invest- only 510 of these account for no less than half the
ment to establish manufacturing industry and create in the town t he acreage.
urban employment, we are turning towards foreign Already 30% of the land is owned by com-
investment in the false hope that we will at last be panies in only 210 holdings while no less than 57%
rescued from the iron jaws of plantation monoculture governm ent are now of the land classified as cultivable is company-:
and its twin a massive dependence on imported owned.
food and raw materials desperately turning Nearly half of the alienated land is devoted to
The industrial programme of the 1950's con-despe rate y turning export crops and of that two out of every five acres
stituted a colossal vote of no-confidence in the inno- export crops and of that two ou of every five acres
vative capacity of the artisans and tradesmen who the at are earmarked for sugar cultivation. Only 15% of
escaped plantation life and, seeking desperately to under 10 acres ld by sma people wth holdings
create a world of fortune, fled to the urban corridors In reduction or hoe sumtin, lnd
of chance. | bring agical In production for home nsumption, land
Now the agricultural programme of the 197sarea is only one-seventh the amount being used for
is a confirmation of the sae contemptuous view, export but in this ase, 56 is under the control of
i s a confirationme, directly at the culontemptuous anview, d iver si f i c ati o n small holders farming under 10 acres.
aimed this time, directly at the cultivators and
farmers who have survived the rigours of the planta-
tion and have retained their stake and their hope in Of ag ricultu re
the land.

Can any claim be more absurd than the
Government's pious assertion that the multi-national
corporations can be an agent for the development
of co-operative farming? As far as we know, plunder
is these corporations' business. We can therefore
promise them that when, this iniquitous regime
finally collapses from the weight of its own corrup-
tion and incompetence, the successor government
will move immediately to repudiate all of the agree-
ments being transacted at the moment.
There is no denying that the most momentous
economic issue of our time is the escalation of the
food deficit to the point where famine stalks an
increasing area of the globe. The chief cause of the
disequilibrium is the ecological upheaval occasioned
by imperialist penetration, perpetrated willy-nilly
over 500 years of plunder.
Famine and shortage, there have always been.
What colonialism has added is a totally irrational
political arrangement, incapable of coming to grips
without a costly process of rapid transformation.
Inevitably, the most explosive feature of this needed
process must be a sudden adjustment to a greater
international equality by the exploitative civilisation
of the North Atlantic.
In terms of straight economics, the terms of
trade and exchange must now swing definitively in
favour of the poor and agricultural countries and
against the rich and industrial ones. We are entering
an era where international political stability would be
possible only if the fruits of land and of natural
resources are exchanged for the fruits of technology
and manufacturing on terms much more favourable to
the former.
The most enduring legacy of European mercan-
tile capitalism over the years is the mal-adjustment
of industry and agriculture in the newly independent
states. Technology is dislocated; taste is distorted.
What this means is that while an international
levelling of material standards has now become a
political imperative, there is no way in which it can
be achieved by rapid economic adjustments within
the poor countries alone. Catching-up is entirely out
of the question so that the terms of collaboration
and exchange have simply to be changed in order to

increase the share of the gains from world trade
which remains with the poor and ex-colonial
The present crisis over petroleum is merely the
first real success which these new states have achieved
in redressing the historic balance of economic advan-
tage. Tougher bargaining over the disposal and use of
primary products is now emphatically the order of
the day. Petroleum has been followed by bauxite and
other primary commodities but the process is only
just beginning. It is the natural consequence of the
break-up of the mercantilist division imposed upon
the world by the Papal Donation of the Fifteenth
Century and subsequently sustained by the "Testa-
ment of Adam".
The corollary of this post-war political develop-
ment is the demise and disappearance of the joint-
stock corporations in their present multi-national
disguise. Naturally, the corporations' adjustment to
this threat is to switch their involvement to new
areas of opportunity for survival and profits.

Castaway from the mineral resource industries
such as oil and presently bauxite and steel, Texaco,
Kaiser and the corporate brethren are calculating
now on turning towards land and food. Tropical
food will now become a major export on a scale far
surpassing the luxury items of spices, fruit and
beverages which have so far dominated the com-
modity market-places.
The changing price structure as between indus-
trial and agricultural goods now admits a merchant's
surplus to be made on a vast multitude of foods. In
days of yore, commodities had to be selected on the
basis of high value in relation to bulk and of high
utility as raw material inputs into metropolitan
processing and refining industry. In both cases the
surplus earned in the metropole made the transaction
very worthwhile.
Now food in general is at a premium. The
corporations and their allies are visualizing new
frontiers of exploitation if only they could create the
appropriate enclaves of organisation, if only they
could procure the land, if only the political climate

Foreigners actually own (or have a share in,
now that Caroni Limited is nominally nationalised in
part) one acre of every five that have been alienated.
Some 58% of land in holdings of 1,000 acres and
over is owned by foreigners who account for 47 out
of 260 holdings of over 20 acres.
This is the context in which the Government's
policy over 18 years of strident announcements of
plans for agricultural diversification, has been an
ignominious failure if not a total catastrophe as is
witnessed by our continued dependence on food
imports and on preferential shelter in export
This is the context in which the Prime Minister
is now proposing to extend the involvement of the
corporations and to cast our national population
once again in the role of passive agents of our own
In his Retirement Speech of September 28,
1973, the Prime Minister described the multi-
national corporation as one of three major interna-
tional economic problems that face the Caribbean
today. (Typescript, p.6).
"The essence of the multi-national corporation
is that it is tantamount to an international
state within the boundaries of a national state,
subject to a central direction and decision-
making outside of the national boundaries."
(p. 7)
That was only sixteen months ago. Now the
proposal is to offer some 10 corporations land on
the scale of 1,000 acres each. This plan for agricul-
tural transformation is being advocated with the
nation's eyes wide open as to the expensive risks
involve d.
"All present indications are", declared the
Prime Minister on that notorious September Day,
"that external domination of the Caribbean will
The question we must now pose is whether that
declaration was a mere forecast of historical trends
or an advance announcement of policy? Doubtless.
we will get our people's answer when the February
Revolution reaches its climax some time soon.

Press Release

8th January, 1975




Sparrowmania sweeps again

Esther LeGendre

IT'S the second week in
January and the Regal,
O.Y.B. and Revue tents
are already in full swing.
Two days after Christmas
the Regal opened it's
doors and the Revue and
O.Y.B. followed two
days after 'New Year's
As Evening News car-
toonist D.E.W. sees it,
the symbolic Carnival
masquerader has not
only caught up with a
Santa Claus who thought
he had a right to be still
on the scene, but has
also snatched off Santa's
long hat and added it,.
incongruously, to his
own mas costume. While
at the Regal Los Mucha-
chos del Agua introduced
the 1975 calypso season,
over at the O.Y.B.
Sparrow is putting a
'Cuatro Man' in the run-
ning for Road March.
So 1975 is here and the
preachers of social reform,
the old-timers, the clowns,
the fillers and the manipula-
tors of singularly transparent
double entendre are all here

The Roaring Lion makes
a comeback at the Regal and
the shiny dentures mean
either that the old Lion has
lost his teeth, what with his
nostalgic look at old time
carnival, or is just being
cynical with his proposal of
a calypsonian government.
The Williams Administra-
tion once more runs away
with the 'Bobolee' award as
it comes in for licks back
belly and side from Amuser,
who after attacking govem-
ment mal-administration and
the situation here where the
police have more power than
the army, finds that our
politicians can be criticised
only for attending too many
cocktail parties.
Impeachment or resigna-
tion, perhaps Nixon might
still have been here if only
he had looked to little
Trinidad and its PM for a
lesson in 'cover-up' at least
so says Chalkie in his latest
exposition. Even the heavy-
Weight champ, Power, look-
ing back over the last fifteen
years could only say 'De
Place Same Way':
'we planting cane. but we
still can't get sugar'.
As Crusoe Kid reviews
1974, a year of scandals,
wars, hiflation- and which
also saw the death and
downfall of several Prime

a big
in the tents
these days.

S s--- ~

Ministers, he remarks:
'buh like he working obeah,.
de man still dey
Doctah Williams getaway.'
As for the advice from the
top to return to the land to
grow more food and help
fight inflation Cypher says:
'never plant a yam
same doctah wey giving'
But if that's what the
men are doing what about
the women? Over at the
Regal Lady Makeba is still
in ecstasy because some
handsome Anmerican was
pleased to jump with her in a
band. The lady companion is
patriotic but short-winded.
Singing Diana wants to break
away to shake her waist and
Calypso Rose is out to dance
like pepper in her pants
towards a Road March. All
well and good I suppose but
when will one of them say


Their attempts at the
Crown have forced Eagle into
a position.

'Since woman could enter
with man and fight for Kaiso
I have nothing against
them at all once they have a
good tune to sing.
But what I am saying,
man you all must ketch
what I mean
Man I askin' Regal to
sponsor me for Kaiso Queen'

He seems dressed for the part
too: silver crown, blue bath-
suit, 'Miss Regal'emblazoned
across the chest.
After an absence of one
year Duke is back with four
.new tunes. Dressed to kill.
Impeccable white suit,jacket
dropping at the waist, chest
bared. Tight fitting, sleek

pants and white patent
leather shoes he's the
cock of the rock. His 'love-
man' counterpart at the
O.Y.B., Shorty wears con-
trasting black along the same
lines. Collar, cuffs and waist-
band are tipped with black
and white ermine. Fashion
in the tents is a big thing.
The range is wide. The
shabby ones go in simply for
a brightly coloured shirt but
old-timers like the Roaring
Lion are the pride of any
satorial artist's heart.
Superior and Chalkie like the
intricacies of matching
colours and cravats.

The O.Y.B. is this year
celebrating its 21st anniver-
sary and from the look of
the packed S.W.W.T.U. Hall
it seems like another success-
ful year. Baron of the beauti-
ful voice is back, and crowds
are standing to encore a
wildly gesticulating and un-
intelligible Rex West who
had been fished in mid-season
last year from the Regal.
Sparrow in a musical
mood. He pulls the wide-
brimmed hat to a jaunty
angle, tugs at the fawn-
coloured jacket and is the
idle rich. But he is singing
about them in "Neurosis'.
Scornful, angry, understand-
ing, pitying, Forgetting the
crowd and crooning, playing
on notes, teasing the sax
with skillful bass. The mood
fades out and he is urging the
Trinidadian woman to
cherish her own. The hat
comes down around the ears
and Sparrow is 'Diggin'
Horrors' 'W1ne Back!' and
Sparrowmania sweeps the
When ah spend mih
'Wine back!' the crowd
'Yuh think dat it easy'
'Wine back.'



r 7 1 IC a ~1I~C IC II -


m4rpao or's


NOVEMBER last marked
the sixth anniversary of
Tapia six years of
political struggle against
the neo-colonial order. A
movement attempting by
effort and example to
lay the basis of a genuine-
ly independent nation.,
That movement is of
course bigger than Tapia
itself. Our method of
political mobilisation
seeks to pull together all
se elements in the
.antry trying to break
from the domination of
central power that conti-
nually imprisons our
mind, and,kills our crea-
tive instincts.
There are those who
condemn this as being
impractical, as being
idealistic. For them
political mobilisation is
simply establishing an
election machine manned
by "ruthless politicians",
as Choko put it, bent on
state power.
What they fail to realise is
that we are building a political
organization, that can deal
decisively in any of the
political confrontations that
can develop in the unstable
political climate that exists.
Whether that confrontation
be election, Constituent
Assembly or upheaval.


The essential ingredient
therefore is not ruthlessness
but moral authority. The
leadership needs at all times,
to be sensitive to the aspira-
ions of the citizens as it has
to be conscious of the
attempts, outside the area of
organized politics, to rally
against the old order.
That creative enterprise is
taking root and developing
outside the ambit of state
control is therefore an indica-
tor that conditions do exist
for a fundamental assault on
the colonial structures. Even
though that area of enterprise
may be small.
It is in that context that
1975 dawns with real hope
for the new movement. The
prospect of prosperity is very
real. For us the measure of
that is not contained in pur-
chase tax concessions to
large scale industry, nor in
income tax reliefs that favour
the haves, nor in half
measures to stimulate housing
and food production.
No, that measure of pros-
perity is for the Chamber of
Commerce and the PNM
diehards. They thrill to the
announcement that American
big business i's a-coming to
organise petrochemicals, food
production and even health.
Kaiser,Amoco, Tenneco,
Texaco are like weed to
Williams. The chairman of
Tesoro singing his praises in
the New York Times or big
business patting him on his
back in Hong Kong and
Japan give him a head.
The old order gloats at
pronouncements by the
multi-national corporation
that they are happy with the
investment climate in Trini-
dad and Tobago, that as far
as they are concerned the
country is politically, socially

and economically stable.
In short they measure
prosperity and stability by
the superficialities of bud-
getary give-aways and by
assessments of the local
situation made by the profit
hungry Watergate corpora-
tions of Nixon's America.
This view is always from
Our view of hope and
prosperity for the New Year
comes from inside the Trini-

dad condition. Our estimation
of what is possible stems
from the positive responses
to nation building that exists
in small pockets of the
And there are significant
responses that indicate 1975
will be a year of great pos-
sibility for the new move-
One of the striking fea-
tures of 1974 has been the
creative arid tangible break-

through in the arts. There can
no doubt that, as Albert La
Veau told me on New Year's
morning, "something is hap-
It is happening in the
theatre, in dance, in music -
in those areas of genuine
creative expression and the
exciting thing about it is that
there is a link between the
three expressions.
Whether it be in dance or
music or theatre, the artists
attempting to build a genuine
base for the development of
his particular art form.
Walcott has led the effort
with his Theatre Workshop,
beginning as far back as
1959. The recent resounding
success of "The Joker of
Seville" has been 'a fitting
culmination to 15 years of
dedicated work. It has given
the theatre generally a terrific
fillip and has launched us
into 1975 with great expecta-
In fact, La Veau, a leading
actor of the Workshop, who
has been campaigning on the
New York stage for the past

two years or so, has decided
to stay home and pursue his
career as a professional actor.
"Derek encouraged me to
go to the US. two years
ago, now he is encouraging
me to stayhome and do my
The Workshop has inspired
Astor Johnson's Repertory
Dance Theatre and it, has
brought Andre Tanker and
his music into close contact
with the theatre.
Tanker, Lancelot Layne
and Clive Alexander's Gayap
Workshop are carrying our
music into new realms, into
new sounds. And in so doing
they are creating challenges
for our musicians and


Their musical innovators
have been blended into Wal-
cotts plays as well as Astor
Johnson's dance.
In addition, Tanker parti-
cipated in the premiere per-
formance of the ISWE group
during the first half of 1974.
The emergence of ISWE,
a group of young actors and
poets. is yet another indicator
of the vibrancy in the arts
Their theatre, Kairi House,
at Belmont, like The Little
Carib in Woodbrook, was the
focus of artistic expression
in 1974.
The Old Year in my view
has added a measure of
stability and a sense of
permanence to the arts.
In our context that fact
certainly heralds a new dawn
and must excite those Tapia-
men who too have been
struggling since the break of
the 196(0s to build a New

Council of


meeting Sun 12

at 9 am

Tapia House

I _



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---~--~ '
.;.... .. --


The factors which have produced and continue to produce the housing dilemma in Latin America are ever

A RECENT article by Mr. D.D. Bohoran on
the 'Housing Crisis in Latin America' focus-
sed on certain of the major elements and
consequences of rapid urbanisation facing
Latin American countries. The insistence that
the shanty towns "are both the most distinc-
tive feature of Latin American cities, as well
as their worst problem" has prompted this
In this brief commentary I should like to
present an alternative argument to that forwarded
by Bohoran, that casts a more favourable light on
the shanty town. It will be argued that many squat-
ter settlements are "slums of hope,"; developments
that are generated by the housing market structure
but at the same time provide necessary shelter and
security for the poor.Further, policy implications
are forwarded suggesting that shanty town develop-
ment be allowed to continue, although with improve-
ments in basic facilities and utilities, (in this line of
argument I am following Turner's views, advocated
in his 1968 article, "Housing Priorities, Settlement
Patterns, and Urban Development in Modernizing
The main tenor of this paper is to generate a
constructive viewpoint towards shanty town develop-
ment, to consider it as a means to alleviate the
housing crisis in Latin American cities. The crucial
factors which have produced, and continue to
produce, the housing shortage dilemma in Latin
American cities are ever present: rapid economic
growth, low working-class incomes, high unemploy-
ment and 'underemployment' (sometimes referred
to as 'marginal' or 'disguised' tertiary employment)
relatively small existing housing stocks to meet
growing demands, and insufficient economic re-
sources to balance housing supply with demand -
all these factors interact to create an immense pro-
blem for authorities and populations, (Juppenlatz,
1970). Giv-n this situation, planning policies to
control and, es urban growth must be construc-
tive, realistic anu` perhaps most of all, flexible. It
would appear crucial to follow Turner's appraisal of
the situation when he advocated that;
successful urban planning and low-income housing
policies in transitional contexts defend on the alimn-
ment of government action with the priorities and
forces of popular settlement,. the governing class in
general and public administrators in particular must
give up the idea that they can act unilaterally and
effectively on behalf of the mass of people. Govern-
ment influence on development will be proportional
to its understanding of ordinary peoples' needs and
its ability to work, not for them, but with them.
(Turner, 1968, p. 362)
Bohoran illustrated the failure of 'renovation'
policies when he discussed the 1954-58 rehousing of

"The market process operates to create inequality."

Dead End or

gateway to the

Caracas' "rancho" residents. Shanties were bulldozed
and replaced by massive blocks of flats. Yet, in-
migration, plus voluntary relocation, continued to
create other squatter settlements. The failure of this
type of scheme cannot be summarily dismissed as
being "due to some extent to the lack of knowledge
on the part of the migrant on the rudimentsof
urban living," (Bohoran, p. 34). Its demise is more
likely due to the existing structure of the market
process which operates to create inequality in the
housing market (Harvey, 1972): an inequality that
bears on the poor and forces them to choose minimal
living conditions as the only viable alternative. This
is hardly a phenomenon unique to countries of the
developing world at present. Engels, remarking on
the attempts to deal with the housing problems in
nineteenth century European cities, echoed the same
In reality, the bourgeoisie has only one method of

solving the housing question after its fashion that
is to say, of solving it in such a way that the solution
continually reproduces the question anew. The method
is called "Haussmann" . By "Haussmann" I
mean the practice which has now become general of
making breaches in the working class quarters of our
big towns, and particularly in those which are cen-
trally situated, quite apart from whether this is done
from considerations of public health, and for beauti-
fying the town, or owing to the demand for big
centrally situated business premises, or owing to
traffic requirements, such as laying down railways
and widening streets. No matter how different the
reasons may be, the result is everywhere the same:
the scandalous alleys and lanes disappear to the
accompaniment of lavish self-praise from the bourge-
oisie on account of this tremendous success, but
they (the slums) appear again immediately some-
where else ..... The breeding places of disease, the
infamous holes and cellars are not abolished: they are
merely shifted elsewhere. The same economic neces-
sity which produced them in the first place produces
them in the next place also. (Engels, 193

Engels views are perhaps extremely dogmatic,
but certainly inequality exists in the housing market
which operates against the low-income groups and
the attempted imposition of industrial-urban middle
class standards upon the mass of urbanising popular.
tions in the developing world only maintains the
status quo, i.e., massive squatting. We could there-
fore advocate a restructuring of the whole, capitalist,
housing market, as Engels prefers, or perhaps look for
remedies within the existing structure to provide a
temporary, 'short-term' solution, while the laborious
process of re-structuring is investigated and impli-
mented. Can squatter settlement be considered a
viable transitional solution? The following section
distinguishes between inner city, grey area, "slums of
despair" and the peripheral, shanty town, "slums of
hope", (Stokes, 1962).


Dennis Conway.

Peattie (1969) has suggested that a major dis-
tinction between slums of despair and slums of hope
is one of social morale. In a typical 'slum of despair',
once-good housing is occupied by poorer people,
usually renters, and the neighbourhood is "going
down". In contrast the shacks of the peripheral,
'slums of hope' house occupants who feel that they
are upward-socially mobile, (Peattie, 1969,pp. 20-21).
It is the 'slums of despair' that are probably the
best known, partly because they are the most visible,
being located as close to the city centre as possible.
Anthropological treatises of Lewis, (1959, 1966)
and the accounts of residents, (Carolina Maria de
Jesus, 1962) have detailed the social disorder and
misery of such interior slums. Without any security
of tenure, 'slums of despair' are occupied by a
largely transient population; a population that is
willing to pay the price of overcrowding, discomfort
and filth for immediate accessibility to job opportuni-
ties, i.e., a location close to the city centre. These areas
will not be attractive to households seeking a
permanent home, and this will be reflected in the
deteriorating physical quality of the housing stock.
Visibly unsightly, appearing chaotic and disorganised,
the attributes of 'slums of despair' have often been
ascribed to all shanty settlements. Mangin (1967) has
however systematically destroyed the stereotyped
myths with reference to the bulk of squatter settle-
ments, arguing that 'slums of hope' have different
qualities. It is the 'slums of despair' that Bohoran
appears to be referring to when he explains the "high
degree of instability common to all shanty towns in
Latin America," (Bohoran,p.30).
Mangin and Turner have turned the negative
arguments, which condemn all squatter development,
into a more realistic positive attitude, especially
towards the peripheral 'slums of hope', (Mangin,
1967, Mangin and Turner, 1968, Turner, 1967,
1968, 1969).

Continued on Page 8



IN many ways the function held in New
Delhi early in October 1974 to honour the
outstanding film-makers of 1973 marked a
major landmark in Indian cinema. Among
those who were absent from the queue filing
past President FakhruddinAli Ahmed were
familiar faces from the nation's commercial
cinema industry. Until now at least some of
its products found a place of pride in the
annual awards. This year, nothing. This was,
no doubt,the most stringent rebuff ever
received by the industry. Its significance can
be better appreciated when one realises the
role popular films play in India's social and
cultural life.
About 66 million Indians go to see a
film in one or the other of the 7,300 theatres
in the country every week. Film gossip gets
circulated in over 600 fan magazines. Songs
from films reach out to 11.8 million radio
receiving sets for several hours a day. Clearly
the cinema constitutes by far the single most
powerful medium of entertainment in the
As for the kind of entertainment these films
provide, it has been best summed up in the words of
Satyajit Ray.
The ingredients of the average Hindi film are
well known: colour (eastman preferred); songs
(six or seven) in voices one knows and trusts;
dances solo and ensemble, the more frenzied
the better; bad girl good girl, bad guy good
guy; romance ( but no kisses); tears, guffaws,
fights, chases, melodramas; characters who
exist in a social vacuum; dwellings which do
not exist outside the studio floor; locations in
Kulu. Manali, Ooty, Kashmir, London, Paris,
Hong Kong, Tokyo who needs to be told?
See any three Hindi films and two will have all
the ingredients listed above.
Little wonder that the commercial film has
come to.acquire its reputation for promoting a life-
style that is at once garish, vulgar and profoundly
conformist. Conceived solely as an industrial product
with only profit in mind the all-India formula film
has, by its very nature, been reduced to catering to
mass tastes without any aesthetic or social commit-
ment. Over the years, it is true, these films have
taken on a gloss of technical sophistication. But
improved techniques have not made an iota of a
difference to a cinema that has played havoc with
people's sensibilities.
Until now many thinking people agreed that
these popular films adversely affect their audiences.
But it has been difficult for them to say precisely
how and why. This year's national awards at least
proved that the risks one ran by patronising this
sort of cinema were not being overlooked. It was at
least realized that unless quality cinema was promoted
in a big way the industry would continue to rule the
roost and that in a few years a whole generation of
Indians will have grown up with no culture other
than this cliche-ridden entertainment.

The presence at a place of honour of Satyajit
Ray at this years national awards function was,
indeed, a reminder of the pioneering role he has
played in laying the foundations of a veritable film
culture in post-independence India. Nearly two
decades ago his Panther Panchali revealed a film-
maker of rich qualities of mind and heart. "Unique-
ness and universality and the coexistence of the
two", he once wrote, "is what I mainly try to convey
through my films,"
The uniqueness of course was of Bengali life
which Ray, with every successive film, portrayed in
all its myriad facets. But his most precious gift lay in
capturing the simple gestures of everyday life -
small joys and sufferings that make up the existence
of most of us. Hence the universality no doubt.
But the emergence of Ray on the world's
cinema map did not start a movement within India.
No school of film-making followed, much less a
doctrine along the lines of say Les Cahiers du Cinema
in France or the Cinema Novo in Brazil. Like his
fellow Bengalis, Mrinal Sen and Ritwick Ghatak, who
too had sought to break new ground though with far
less success, Satyajit Ray remained .an isolated
figure. And this until the late 'sixties.
The parallel or "new wave" cinema would
appear to have begun in 1969 with Mrinal Sen's
Bhuvan Shome. This was Sen's first venture in
Hindi. The freshness of the theme a bureaucrat's
discovery of himself was,of course,largely respons-
ible for the film's success as was indeed Sen's
sensitive handling of it. Equally important, however,

=o ,qm Ifmrh

SYou always

wanted her to


makes it easy--

and an ideal

Gift too.


Mo k n-M -A M M -__M

VAN: r
s ncJi

was the fact that the venture was made possible
through the state-controlled film finance corporation.
It is the FFC's new policy df encouraging young
talents that, more than any other factor, has been
responsible for giving India its quality cinema over
the past five years.
The parallel cinema differs from the monolithic,
commercial one in many respects. To the younger
film-makers film is above everything else a medium
of expression and communication. Where others use
words or colours they use images and sounds. This

I II I g


i -

A[ IN i T- y-

_g8%84 ;



eA Scene from Padatik

S I Revi Menon

in Nirmalyam

first principle, as it were, conditions everything else.
They havb done away with big budgets, lavish sets,
stars and all the paraphernalia that goes with the
commercial cinema. They have rid their films of the
interminable romances, of gratuitous violence and
sadism. Their films are cluttered neither by songs nor
by loud music, nor indeed by the extravaganzas of
dance and spectacle that are splashed through every
other commercial film.
In the parallel cinema it is the director who is
sovereign. Every element of his craft is harnessed to



4-1414-LaIgr i-II-41.-lt41





Aroon Barna and
Jaya Saikia in

foml part of the integrated vision he wishes toportray.
This is not to say that he shuns entertainment. But
what he seeks to put across is another idea of
entertainment one that neither panders to dubious
tastes nor encourages the passivity of the spectator
by playing on his emotions.
The crop of new films made since Bhuvan
Shome form a most interesting spectrum. They
reveal not only the richness and variety of Indian
life but also a gamut of sensibilities. In exploring the
world around them the erosion of the caste system,
feudal customs, violence, both physical and psychol-
ogical, social intolerance, etc the film-makers in
effect appear to be discovering themselves. And it is
the sense of discovery which no doubt accounts for
the freshness of these works.
Thus only rafter Bhuvan .Shome did Mrinal
Sen who has always been .associated with left-wing
politics veer towards ;a frankly political cinema. The
ideological commitment has indeed become more
pronounced with every successive ilm interview,
Calcutta 71 and tadatik. To (date, Sen is perhaps the
only director in rthe country to use his medium to
portray artistidlly ithe .-society in whnh he
lives in a Marxian ipeospective. 9e ;aOhieves -this not
through turgid'"socidlist realism'" that'has marred so
many sincere eiffirts at Ea"'commnitted" cinema in the
past but by 1ifgaitaitinte 'tb ff6tiiliiithititbi tsi
well. In all fte tlhfee fffilins iHe th so9g it Itb ibtik
away from ,titetftl i"l raititfe Itby 'ifttidttlig,
for -example, rn16e81 s6l6ti4tWtg s, 'tijW paper head-
lines, highly y l:;tUElrpti ,atltrittigdiht olbktUften-
:tary shorts, .dtc. tIfls 1ith, -provoke polite rcfdikdftn n iimllifs "pcte'rnr: % s
tadatik cwas rlmttrfd l ttties yr tir iift A SitNeh IY..
Eirish iKhnU^isitaca4ffitfe#t tH %r Waiki't
like .SatIyaji I b, ,tIt ttile dlft aib s "l cQ69Rni't'i
ument siroit'd eamve fflrMn tte *rti iyity i l.. T
originall ittesaqy mattisil aps^^ th %yie it' off h
films. T7he tuntt, aluftve ability cff& SSmSisW frk
iinsante, is diue as imwlh ttn lf Ihis uXMWM Wf*e
acntro61i anm mLiiBiim i s t te t~ii iw tft
cdisarray1that da dimeamn e4a am fg Madhava
IBDthniis iin a vilIl iin IWU iaat~aa
iThrecesmM l i ff acslte walnm s f$em h there o Of
90ant 'E ~aedmt i fnim Wiansihc. O3Wf (the Family
jlItse)) wdhibe (aa8it ((llie FImFtst) which was voted
tthe sani t Owt flti aff th year, deals with violence
- th tatitf" if'~ mrt between man and
\\ffi, ieWltoge inxdl liwlAE, vsmamat and nester and,
i ~! tit,,, jt a? tt dildl of adults and of a child,
]lga 1ath\\ gsg t pwaii9 to excel in the narrative
it t 1AWW ta ioSi4w no interest in experi-
Wffirt 01Wih iiJA ia irmiW, f The reason perhaps is
~ti Attle ife4 Igt 1l l~aijje cf cinema at this moment
ffAW t~ 9 cTiW ag i# fotWfrds it rather than repel
ii i ita ,k4 1 irff tta ion that can only add
i- s-L 9SX, i (Tn s f@@nfg i~ hard by several
t9r 9 9 1 ffL- f W @ Yevn as they confine
Ii. ii .9 ,Satip ginflrnma are preoccupied
un ift5y R&YlO 's s@eial and psyehologieal
l I nt, fAn Sfey: ir aim seemff s to be to
ff~iai.e l^? ,1 aftd gy ftglge figtien that wiii e ey /
nva ui p ^raf yg ja are jO A the Xa s0
h 'i;. O u }i ,t fi Ra mgdenjst#R that iff#aite
-p/ v-ecc 5 lif t
;P 4fWeA!' AND NP TIC Wl
In earlr .year Bp u Chi4ttLje'; a/, i,/sh
id min tial tP vJ'J au l t1 4 k,, .i; w- l
jl., revealed of thl ofai i eyg op aff iliio betweeeqn,
a til.'. dl':, -nurrid cpyp g ja bu te pglig.t;
of a widow in' a puiarai hal.t. IU,.S. Saih,u's.
ari faa,r fist tine pn t Injdian screen,
evoikedvfth great isen ti1it lhat unhappily lapsed
irito melodraffa at places t, lit :,iof Muslim
."~~~~ ~ '. "s *p"d:( -<**'> l -i 7 *"

family in the wake of 'the country's partition in
1947. Shyam Benegal's Ankur unfolds the slow but
growing awareness among India's Harijans, the
members of backward classes.
MV.. \'asudevan Nail's \Nirmalhiini, voted tile
best film 'of the year, portrals this change as it
tiitttldes Tinto 4'e ftbric of 4 Kerala village.
-The 'cen~itrl havacseTr is n oracle whose sefViies tile
ViIAge oW longer needs 'the temple is deserted. His
day daw is whth 'h tbibfeik bf ilpbkblp brings the
"1lg6e bhkck to his dobsttep.
rb ltbs I ikba'i livi~ti havi by, htn mean
been i'jiwle 1b y Idia's ~'ouhg hhilr-makerr Alefia-
Ii# lIbd; iwVe, Bik ri AAei1tiB8fins witi ei'dets Has b6eh
e'A.Yred li slh rlhis a 3iiHt \idd ] aiiri ald
A Wit khil'-; -f f d : iTh l ttet filtt i 8 :di- i llr,,

f ft,- Af 8 fm t "r'N &

taispai 6f aR u li f ifidn wjsF 8id sbhh 8l-
trhainge, s moti.h Bey & arh i a, Riffir as B6. b1&

all treaffl tiweeintf lharal tller ie , a sifl' o&fltA:

hai.i ivt hal aindis tilieu On (st liAjii-Atih.)) (l4l ai
E@ RgDinat aui Sffl Sftand rapfiyt t ppo9 If i~fiW t a

wafiRd Bkl al tle l iorv ffSwordl/ ti S ialItak i,3ait' tiNr '
m~aiSovesr,,, owe tie dirotlta1iw ptn seawitll alfstFi' r

nstor andli/ a ind a froll8 tmai& ibsttl. a way as-t,
rePrit the if sp e iffiWs of e ihsso aditi S' sifflou't
a ondilla t anythin- t6at is6i6 properly to, 6(th ci~e',
tnit Wand objects withe out aneplasis. r

o Maiier wods, h. tMshun direct reference a tO tl ea.'layo adlt a-s tfio~ellP't utlisedihowys etdb-
Ik d&scovasn ai lii-all rntithtibr onh seiEVera1 tefflei'
trel arcandiitonl (sotoic wtomy n fflon l-,mditwt ritoli ]if
Acn&e hedg; a thingi ywt thltri isA alb I stdotr oft tie-'
?fiisstt 0iwheri tbwni andu se toliotoproetr aiuion oiM
tmte vaifeyy andi tbet w outie ((mhasianl )) atide t&ie
oIjr wandl the. othsewordlyn / (ay iretrj) Vflr -'tW ri
i.irnvxoyovr,, show& tl bdireoton gtapplfng'w i'tr a'islilrt 1
stoi. ai pliy/ andJ aj fb talbb. in 1suoll1 aa vWar as, tb

objective the worldifty/ ouar Shahani inmed&' iDarpan
cotakeds are to keep one foot, firmly planted in'ftl e
Wlt, where Kauli seeks,, to! project 1 a- ili'of't ofI
ineji, an d: objects. without ti an, emphasis., on ei tfevr- ift"
other, words, lie. shuns. any direct, reftrencee to th'e,
objective world;- RurnarShasanit irnM&Iya.Darfvan'
takes, care to keep one footfirmly plantedlin;thle,

historical process. This is where the two film-makers
part ways. Shahani's character, a young unmarried
girl, is shown performing banal, everyday acts
wJki'7c "l ,- ,
gives the surface impression that she is simply bored
with her existence in a large, decrepit house on the
botdet of a small towi. But it is-in the development
of the girl's consciousness that Shahani seeris to be
most interested; her gVadual awareness that her
boredom is linked with social forces agitating the
blutside world. The awareness of the feudal past, of
her patriarchial father, of Class cleavages that take on
new forirs Wifih the incoming inditstrialisation, of
hbr own sensuality are but a few themes that go to
inaj i i" te a ai film rich in denseness and
' [j ev :.

oFin M.S. "d iv and Gifish Karnad to Maini
iau!i anct lJ,'iL' Si ,-,,; dic piarillel cinema thus
,-, a- -, 5 r 0 -fil : hbu, to

b l w 'fi I ., I ,,;- : ." ," rl. N o- "
t t.tX ti f i in J' l' !a i.. I' l'.i Li'1: 1 r;e 1 j, '' cj in
8S9Itl? A1lei' rocess.of char'n people's .'r ,ili

C/HIm1'f13 a' WealS .t oa,.a;' e sen .Voc.X -w .'.. l i ,,: ,ve
S T del i' niiears iave sendtir to oe .... '
ta-qei. l 61cimerclat imnustry itoo r,,'r, iil.,
t e M&ier Iutzar ane u e.IiCo l. e ,
w Woio. w Ct.f.ln t h e .onlnes o, i,
'4 1 't(:-m1 ^ .o'r "" "v "kin.,- -rI
1 ave t, en1 ,' i l l t, o, *re,- nI.I
1jI1 t'C .:lIilt d.ia.J. 'n ody-meets-girl industry
a LA
p b 1 1. ,, ., ;- .tL d o 1
tif~er[) ^ v, e-d,,;.t-, u.,,- many of them do
i ,1 tL'iY dw-l' s tt' hi bi gin .. r i .a ior
dh 9 1 lla, eta :en .,I.,qn Idi s:uhural
f4Jlil arc 'g ,.:.. ,r ,..ia 1 ,,,:. been at
rk 1 it tr e e ob l C a rpolt d I. ,
fttr )ue' tb llbhseln'trl ` t'g t 'd ^,^'c ,,[:, + n( *l ,.' "
f01 -iii tnli r ',1. ,(l'
cdti1 oY' ,il 'S;Hi ri~''t ses. Th 'a no doubt,
txp ni.' tlan *T Lh"11 ir, ni ir' i i ha
A,'\ rit.tir'' '.- il f ~ti't i" h' os 'd f r a rId''
S r ,; a"("t1i ''.'.n c'i i' '" .,'i -' epresehia-
t 6'e' g idt'i ti't6"ai _r'.'n't'l'th a c'a ra t'rimV-m'aker.'
Th'bre" \'. e' ln'i&-i \ rh',g a'a first' bu'tl soon voices
were raised; tm pMr hate d 'u ti p\: a at pJnp
Th'e you'Wg.ifltfihlt 'haket'ch1, .'hd thdif 'llt nd -r' ,was
il oteres tdd *oniw iif'nVald ''Iisn'ey' aid' not 'ir 'pYi~ -'
ivg,'heal'thV vbal'rs.' 11't iA'd'st.t rapBrese'h fiv' c'ouYK '
freeze' tfamer wonl'utd l'hal made a tIl'm gdt- uict, ei"'
to any fi' .. oi tlM'd 'fl Ii n0r,.1, ,' .
tond/ay & !'ii/'iIm'Rcli(w)

JARY 12, 1975


"The cinema constitutes the single
most powerful medium of entertainment in the

"The commercial film has acquired a
reputation for promoting a life-style that is garish,
vulgar and profoundly conformist."



- ---



"But an attitude is now developing that sees squatter settlements as an available form of housing provision under the prevailing conditions of rapid urban growth in developing
Frnm P nop

Turner contended that housing, or more cor-
rectly, the dwelling environment, offers three quali-
ties to occupants; location, tenure and amenity.
Households at different levels of socio economic
standing will place different priorities on these three.
Hence a newly arrived immigrant, dependent on an
uncertain labour market and on occasional casual
jobs, must live near the sources of these jobs. Loca-
tion will be the highest priority;proximity to central
city areas is essential and the inner city 'slum'
provides the available housing. On the other hand, a
professional man and his family will see his locational
priority as secondary to the demands of status, on
which his social standing appears to depend. His
priority is therefore one which places amenity above
tenure and location, and is a direct opposite set of
priorities to that of the newly-arrived urban in-
Identifying the relationship between three
strata of social situations that may be expected to
emerge in a transitional city, (as an urban system of a
developing country can be so classified), and relating
this scale of socio economic levels to the three basic
functions of the dwelling environment, location,
tenure and amenity, a sequence of urban assimila-
tion by groups and individuals can be conceptualised
(after Turner, 1968). The lowest of the three basic
economic levels is that of the "very low-income
bridgeheader". Often a recent arrival to the city, the
'bridgeheader's' dominant need is to find, and keep, a
job. For these urban initiates, modern living stand-
ards clearly have a low priority. Security of tenure
may become a more important consideration as their
economic position improves but their overriding
need is access to job opportunities. Hence the
'slums of despair' provide an adequate, if not essen-
tial, residential site for these 'bridgeheaders'.


Above this lowest level are individuals or
households who have obtained a relatively perma-
nent income and are at an intermediate economic
standing of "low income consolidator". Their
incomes are generally insufficient to allow them to
purchase 'conventional' housing, so they are satisfied
with squatting on the periphery of the city in 'slums
of hope'. Freed from rent payments, even if their
dwelling is merely a shack, the 'consolidators' can
gradually establish a permanent residence. Home
ownership affords them the flexibility of varying
living expenditures in times of financial hardship;
certainly an important consideration where illness
and unemployment can add to the unreliability of
the monthly earnings of the household. Home build-
ing may take up to twenty years, (Mangin and
Turner, 1968, Andrews and Phillips, 1970). It is
usually a drawn-out process, where inhabitants live
most of these years in partially built homes, where
materials are purchased when they can be afforded,
and the home painstakingly grows and consolidates.
We are therefore looking at a very different shanty
town in these aspiring'slums of hope' than lew down-
grading inner city 'slums of despair'. The c-,nsolida-
tors are not "rural misfits" lost in an urbin environ-
ment. Research has identified these suburbann
squatters as predominantly intra-urban inii-ants -
bridgeheaders who went first to the central ity and

then after one or several moves chose to 'consolidate'
in a peripheral shanty, where they had better living
conditions and a chance for home ownership,
(Davies and Blood, 1974, Flinn, 1968, Flinn and
Converse, 1970, Vaughn and Feindt, 1972).
It appears that the rural-to-urban migration in
Latin America is a two stage process. The inner city
tenements, or central city 'slums of despair' function
to promote the initial survival of migrants; a function
that has been recognized as significant in North
American cities, (Brody, 1970). Seeking 'consolida-
tion', the movement is then to the urban periphery
where opportunities for home ownership and its
accompanying security are offered in the 'slums of
hope'. In her study of favelas in Brazil, Gross
emphasized that this incentive for home ownership
played an important role in slum living. She con-
cluded that government attempts to relocate squatter
inhabitants in multi-family projects acted in opposi-
tion to this desire and-could contribute to their
failure, (Gross, 1963).
The third category in the sequence of socio
economic levels includes those of the urban population
who have job security, and are seeking social visibility
through their choice of home and neighborhood.
These "middle class status seekers" see location as
an amenity, where closeness to their social peers or
superiors is an overriding factor in residential site
selection. They can compete in the housing market;
can, and indeed desire to, purchase conventional
housing; can take advantage of the available housing
stock, and in general satisfy their needs within the
existing situation.
The point of view presented here is contrary
to that prevailing in the 1950's and early 60's, when
it was felt that all squatter settlements should be
"Haussmann'd". Beyer (1967), Bresse, (1966),
Gunther, (1967), Matos Mar, (1961) and T.L. Smith,
(1970) are all observers of the shanty town pheno-
mena who have perpetuated the "eradicate and
rebuild" notion. But an attitude is now developing

that sees squatter settlements as an available form of
housing provision under the prevailing conditions of
rapid urban growth in developing countries. Accept-
ing that the present housing market forces create
inequality, then the problem is not so much the
existence of the shanties but rather that they are
uncontrolled, (Turner, 1969). These slums appear
to be "the product of, and the vehicle for, activities
which are essential in the process of modernisation,"
(Turner, 1969). In practice authorities in some
Latin American countries have begun to come to
terms with the existence of and the necessity for
squatter settlements.
Urbanizaciones legally subdivided areas
with basic utilities, but with self-help housing, are
now part of urban planning strategies, (Flinn and
Converse, 1970). Even invasiones are not discouraged
and in the Pueblo Jovenes scheme in Peru, trained
personnel were provided to assist in their planning.
Consideration of the economic aspect alone could be
an argument for continuing shanty development.
Mangin and Turner (1968) analysed the human and
material economy of the self-help system in Peruvian
barriadas, and their data illustrated how the financial
cost of a barriada dwelling can be appreciably less
than half the cost of a similar unit supplied by a
government agency.

It would appear that there are both economic
and social considerations that weigh positively for
the accepted continuation of squatter settlements,
though with improvements in basic facilities and
utilities. No longer can a simple solution of 'eradi-
cation be advocated. Self-help housing construction
is a reaction to the present housing crisis in Latin
American cities. Planners and authorities, by realign-
ing their policies with the priorities' and forces of
popular settlement, can regain control over a major
sector of urban growth that has dominated peri-
pheral expansion. They then will be working with
the people and not simply for them.







I IV I I 1 1 agc; -)



Greg Chamberlain

BENEATH the solid
blanket of rain clouds
clamped for much of the
year over the remote
British-ruled West Indian
island of Dominica, a
bizarre political tragi-
comedy is unfolding
which Mr. Wilson would
rather not know about.
The Premier, Mr.
Patrick John, has
declared a war in the
island to exterminate a
300-strong anti-Govern-
ment 'Black Power'
Iroup, mostly teenagers,
who call themselves The
Dreads and he wants
money from Whitehall to
help him to do it.
The 72,000 citizens of
Dominica, the poorest but
most exotic of Britain's
remaining Caribbean colonies,
have just been given the legal
right to shoot dead members
of The Ereads. A special
new security police has been
recruited with powers to
arrest anyone who merely



Dreads under siege...

looks as if he might be a
Dread sympathiser. Telegrams
are censored for anti-Govern-
ment references. 'Subversive'
literature is banned.
Mr. John, who took office
five months ago, says The
Dreads are 'internationally-
backed Communists' out to
destroy him and the econ-
omy. 'Pseudo intellectuals'
and even top civil servants are
also in the plot, he charges.


There have been shootings
and attacks on foreign white
residents and tourists in the
island this year. Mr. John
says The Dreads, whose
members wear their hair in
braids like the Rastafarian
cult in Jamaica, have done
it all. One of their members
has just been tried and sen-
tenced to death for such a
But The Dreads say he

was framed as a scapegoat for
the Government's acute
economic troubles and its
inability and unwillingness
to tackle the 290-square-mile
island's real problems
seriously. They point to the
expulsion of the accused
man's lawyer from the
Even the leader of the
conventional opposition, no
friends of the radical groups,
has dismissed the 'Com-
munist plot' claim as
'absolute nonsense.
The Dreads say they do
not -believe in violence but
only in encouraging the
islanders whose economy
is in the hands of expatriate
and local whites and a few
rich blacks to control their
own resources.
Many of the group are
thought to have fled into
the rainy mountainous in-
terior since they were

declared illegal a few weeks
ago. Mr. John has sent his
small army and police force
to hunt them down in the
dense tropical forests, where
brightly coloured parrots flit
across terrain broken by
hundreds of rushing torrents
and the scores of active
volcanic pits and vents which
dot the island.


The Premier has appealed
to Britain for urgent extra
financial aid for the island,
whose economy depends en-
tirely on bananas, limes and
tourism, to prevent Dominica,
from being overwhelmed by
'crime, racism and violence'.
But Britain, which has
told its larger Caribbean pos-
sessions like Dominica that
they can have independence
whenever they want, is
unlikely to help out Mr.

Gairy's missing millions

A reputation
"financial adventures"

THE perennial financial
problems of Grenada's
Prime Minister, Mr. Eric
Gairy, have taken a new
turn with the discovery
that about L250,000 of
British aid, earmarked for
specific development pro-
jects, has been diverted
to other purposes.
The bulk of the British
aid money to the Caribbean
island, which became inde-
pendent in February, was
for a 190,000 extension of
Pearls Airport on Grenada. A
further L10,000 was for
bridge building, Lt21,500
for road works and -25,000
to build a primary school.
Discrepancies came to
light in March, and bills from
the British construction firm,
Winpey, who have the air-
port extension contract,
could not be paid. The funds
had been moved sideways,
from the development into
the current account of the
budget. Mr. Gairy admitted
that it has been spent and
that he cannot immediately
replace it.
According to Mr. Gairy's
version the money was trans-
ferred to pay civil servants,
but members of the opposi-
tion New Jewel Mbvement
(NJM) question this. They
have gone so far as to suggest
that the diverted money
went to Gairy's secret police,
known as the 'Mongoose
A series' of blunt ex-
changes, face to face and by
letter, followed the discovery
that the aid money had been
'mis-applied'. Finally, the
Minister of Overseas Develop-
ment, Mrs. Judith Hart
during a visit to the Tan-

zanian capital, Dar es Salaam,
in June, met Mr. Gairy at his
request. She made it clear
that no more aid could be
considered until the money
was accounted for and a
system of repayment agreed.
This was followed up by a
tough letter from Mrs. Hart,
and last month Mr. Gairy
finally agreed to pay back
the money into the develop-
ment account during the
next 18 months.
There were ample reasons
for disquiet about Mr. Gairy,
when the Conservative Gov-
ernment agreed to give him
a 1,250,000 loan and tl1
million grant during the
period 1974 to 1977, and
these were voiced in this
country and by the NJM.


A 1962 British-Govern-
ment White Paper, inquring
into Mr. Gairy's activities
while Chief Minister, spoke
of his 'financial adventures'
and 'wasteful expenditure of
Government funds.' In a
blunt indictment, it added
that Mr. Gairy had wasted
public finance either 'in
ignorance or flagrant dis.
regard of the laws and the
dictates of financial pru-
Mr. Gairy has been
forced to agree that officials
of the Ministry of Overseas
Development based in Barba-
dos will check how future
aid money is spent.
In Grenada, the opposi-
tion claim that aid money
has been diverted to Mr.
Gairy's own political pur-
(From the Observer 17.11.74)

John, any more than it was
willing earlier this year to
help Mr. Eric Gairy, the
eccentric Premier of near-by
Grenada, crush the revolt
against his strong-arm rule a
few weeks before indeen-
The conflict in Dominica,
which has had internal self-
government since... 1967,
reflects the political deadlock
between people of different
generations throughout the
Commonwealth Caribbean.
It has already reached serious
proportions in other islands,
notably Trinidad and Gre-
The entrenched trade
union leaderships of the
region stand accused by their
more educated, yet still
jobless, sons and daughters
of aggravating the inherent
weaknesses of the island
economies and societies.
They have, it is claimed,
simply taken over where the
departed white rulers left off
instead of challenging and
trying to break down the
economic and social struc-
tures of colonialism.
It is this anger and bitter-
ness which produce the
attacks on white tourists -
through the explosive physic-
al proximity of rich and
poor. But questioning has
now begun throughout the
islands of the easy acceptance
so far of the unrestricted
tourist development which
often destroys their small
societies in this way.


The movement for a new
Dominica (MND), a more
organised and more serious
young radical group than
The Dreads, has published
its own revealing surveys of
the island's housing and
unemployment problems and
on the activities of foreign
banks. The movement accuses
Mr. John's regime of trying
to divert attention from the
problems by promoting a
harmless cultural black
nationalism in the island in an
effort to defuse the calls by
the MND and The Dreads
for local blacks to take
control of their own affairs
from the foreigners and the
rich who govern their lives.
The MND has condemned
the attacks on whites.
But Mr. John's paranoia
and wild talk about Com-
munism and 'traitors' have
been well-nurtured by the
acts of violence which
Dominica's Byzantine poli-
tical atmosphere has pro-
duced in the past few years.
These have included a bomb
attack on the Premier's house
and the sacking of Parliament
by opposition supporters
angry at a Government plan
to dissolve the capital's town
council a few days after the
opposition won control of
it at elections.
Britain's attitude means
that Mr. John will have to
work out his own solution,
though he no doubt permits
himself an occasional day-
dream about the time last
year, when the island's civil
servants decided to call off a
planned strike when a British
frigate appeared off the coast
one morning. (The Observer)



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The Communities : tied on a

short rope

Mickey Matthews

MANY A time when I'm
down, when the down-
beat and hurly-burly of
politics have sapped the
spirit, I saunter in the
darkness the quarter mile
up Harris Village to
Baldwin's pad. There I
meet a group of about
fifteen youngsters assem-
bled beneath an electric
These are the people of
Blackpool discussing the
affairs of Blackpool in
particular and Harris Village
in general. They may be
talking about the party to
raise funds for the basketball
court, or for gear for the
football and cricket teams.
They may be brooding over
plans for the kindergarten
which they had to shelve
after taking cognisance of
the financial implications in-
volved, or simply reading the
balance sheet of the mini-
coop they had launched.
Whatever their endeavour
they never fail to provide
me with a kind of spiritual
revival that would move me
to tears if only I dared to lift
my tongue to speak. My
heart would be filled with
great joy, overwhelmed
by the realisation that un-
conventional politics is
That unconventional
politics where 'the citizenry
organises itself into groups
and makes sacrifices of time,
effort and money' of which
Selwyn Ryan spoke so un-
wittingly some Sundays back.
The coloniser on arriving
in our land first met an
indigenous population of
Arawaks and Caribs. Shakes-
peare, through one of his
characters, Caliban, tells the
story of that encounter.
When thou
cam'st first.
thou strok'stme and made
much of me,
would'st give me
Water with berries in't,
. and then I
lov'd thee,
And showed thee all the
qualities o' th' isle,
The fresh springs, brire-
pits, barren place
and fertile.
Curs'd be that I did so!...
For I am all the subjects
that you have,
Which first was my own
king; and here
you sty me
In this hard rock, whiles
you keep from
The rest o' th' island.
The last lines of the quota-
tion, translated into modern
English would read succintly
'the pasture is green but you
got me tied on short rope'.
To put Caliban's statement
that way is to state unequi-
vocally the predicament of
Blackpool and indeed the
entire population of this

How else could the para-
dox be explained that there
is a colossal revenue from
oil and the population broken
to thiet, or that external
conditions are ripe for a
radical re-orientation of the
economy and the government
continues to muffle the

To exemplify, take the
case of the Drag brothers.
The failure of the authorities
to recognize them as the
tender sapplings of an in-
digenous shoe industry is
appalling. The thingislabour
intensive, craftmanship is
improving. What it needs is
protection of the kind Doric
Foot Wear enjoys from
foreign competition, and
assistance to procure a cheap
source of material.
The psychology that the
'negro' has no head for busi-

Gov't Pensioners Assoc'

ness is a fallacious one we
only need to cut the rope
and allow our people to
roam the green pastures of
Today, community or-
ganisations rich in variety
exist all over the country,
vwiling to till the land
zealously, interested in
saving the nation. And what
happens? Well, there is a
$60m. unemployment levy
slapped on incomes in excess
of $10,000 per annum just
on the heels of the February


Cry from the Heart

THE increase ear-marked
for retired public servants
fills us with disappoint-
ment and grief, hence
this appeal for your
consideration and assist-
ance at this meeting of
the Senate.
The purpose of the
increase to public servants is
not for greater production,
as experience has shown, but
to enable them to tide over
the high cost of living. As
the pressure is greatest on
those in the lowest brackets,
those were raised from
Ranges 2 and 3 to Range 4,
taking with them increments
earned, so as to make the
percentage increase more
The increase granted to
retired public servants seems
to make of them second-
class citizens for it is much
lower, and their pensions
place them among the lowest
category of citizens.
Because of this indifferent
attitude to retired servants
over past years, there has
arisen a tremendous gap
between pensioners of the
fifties and their counterparts

of today; and the 1975
Budget is amply geared to
perpetuate this system.
The increases allocated to
retired servants, besides being
unrealistic and unreasonable,
savours of contempt, for
their Association had initiated
discussions with the Chief
Personnel Officer as far back
as July last, and without any
consideration of the proposals
submitted and discussed, the
budget presented a mere
hand-out, as if retired
servants are not entitled to a
decent standard of living


This lack of consideration
for its senior citizens is solely
responsible for the tremend-
ous gap between the pen-
sioners of old and the new
pensioners, as the following
examples show:
(a) Head Teachers, now
Principals, range from
$180 to $500 per
(b) Chief Clerks, now
called Principal Officers,
range from $290 to

$500 per month; and
(c) Police Inspectors, $150
to $500 per month.
The Classification and
Compensation Plan of 1965
lifted salaries to a level in
keeping with our national
status, but left pensioners in
the colonial freeze. The 1968
increase of salaries also left
out pensioners, save for the
adjusting of a burning
anomaly. The 1971 increase
gave to servants in active
service a 42% increase, while
doling out to pensioners a
mere 10% to 25%. The 1974
increase has simply tended
to aggravate this disparity.
We, the retired servants
regard ourselves, and are
regarded by all, as respons-
ible people who served with
unsurpassed efficiency and
dedication under very trying
conditions, people who
prepared the way for Inde-
pendence, and in many cases
helped to nurture it in its
infancy. To crease such a
distinction as the 1975
Budget generates, is to regard
us as second-class citizens,
thus making a mockery of
our National Anthem.

0 0
Couc i

repes ntatve ,.,M6et~n'

uprising. The money is to
be spent on roads, bridges
and pavements in the locali-
ties and the operation is
administered from the Prime
Minister's office.
No wonder youthful
energy is dissipated in violent
protest or the opiate of
marijuana. What happen to
the Village Councils andcom-
munity groups? Why can't
Blackpool assume responsibil-
ity for Harris Village? This is
the question that community
leaders must answer, for
what accompanied the
mushrooming of community
groups was a great outcry
against the traditional com-
munity organizations. The
new leadership charged the
old for their lack of enthusi-
asm, for being insensitive to
the needs of the community,
and for being lackeys of the


I can assure the new
leadership that, if my child-
hood memories can be
trusted, the old leadership
was no less public-spirited
than they, for I recall my old
man and the neighbour talk-
ing'about the needs of the
village and spending numer-
ous nights in counselling and
planning. But idealism and
public-spiritedness must be
twinned with real responsibil-
ity. The old leadership
agitated for improvements in
ihe villages only to see that
improvement programmes
were implemented by
methods that did not include
their participation.
The role of the village
councils appeared to be one
of occasional protest and
routine idleness. Attendance
at village council meetings
fell off. Those who stayed
on engaged in semantics,
rising on 'a point of order'
or being ruled 'out of order'
strictly in accordance with a
sterile parliamentary proce-
dure. Many of them were
party fanatics overwhelmed
by the politics of the day.
One consequence of this is
that there are very few
Indian village councils since
the PNM is an African party
in the main.
At first there was a ten-
dency among the com-
munity organizations that
emerged out of the February
Revolution not to keep
minutes or to proceed by
any of the rmodes of con-
ventional organisation. Of
course, this tendency was
soon corrected since the
existence of permanent
organisation dictated that
minutes be kept.
Now, four years after the
February Revolution erupted
into the streets, I sense a
decline in spirit amongst the
new leadership. It sends a
shudder through my body,
and forces me into a realiza-
tion of the urgency of the
need for the New Movement
to demolish the old order
and usher in the politics of
participation which com-
munity organizations so des-
perately need for their sur-

Thc B oet vp-gArdl

assecond-dass7 citizetiSC'




new year in


IN a marathon four hours
of community activities
on January 1st 1975, in
the blockaded street of
St. Clement Circular
Road, the youth Council
of the area started the
new year. On an after-
noon overshadowed by
impending rain, it was a
delight to see over two
hundred youths and their
elders turn up for what
was a successful after-
noon. Toys were distri-
buted to children, politi-
cal raps, poetry reading,
drumming and steelband
music contributed in
making a success of the
In an era when there is
so much capable of retarding
community growth, Brother
De Caires, chief organiser
must be lauded for this ambi-
tion effort. St. Clement is
no different from any other
district in Trinidad and
Tobago. In fact their pro-
blems are not unique. Ram-
pant unemployment among
the youths, bad and in-
humane housing conditions,
_ police brutality are just some
of the problems which face
the citizenry. The impor-
tance of St. Clements how-
ever lies in the fact that the
young people are attempting
to overcome their limitations
with relative success.


Pan Rebirth, a steelband
from the area with unpainted
instruments with chalk writ-
ten insignia started the
evening with their sweet pan
music. Prior to that the
football match, played in the
streets set the stage for the
excitement which was carried
over to the pan beating.
At a time when we hear
so much about the irrele-
vance of our educational
system and the need to devise
new values to equip us to
live, it was good to see the
change in the type of toys
and gifts given to the child-
ren. Books and a variety of
educational games usurped
the place of the traditional
guns and dolls. Drumming
immediately followed the toy
distribution. These young
men from Vistabella have
certainly attained an enviable
position in the art of drum-
mology. Their renditions
lifted us.
Alston Grant followed
next, with a statement on
"Community work andyouth
in a changing society."
Brother De Caires continued,

tance and the Black Struggle
to an attentive audience.
By now it was about 7.20
p.m. and what a fitting way
it was to close with the pul-
sating rhythm of the Pan
Rebirth Steel Orchestra.

SHOULD any signifi-
cance be attached to the
fact that a one-time
flamboyant political
figure of the colonial era
is now in Trinidad?
Is it of any importance
that a man who was in
fact the Chief Minister of
Trinidad and Tobago
(even if he didn't carry
the title) from 1950 to
1956 and the immediate
predecessor of Eric
Williams, should now
come back to the
country of his birth to
launch his autobiography
which traces, essentially,
the rise, decline and fall
of a once powerful politi-
I am referring, of course,
to Albert Gomes, who
returned to Trinidad on
January 6th to be present at
the launching of his book
Through A Maze of Colour.
If Gomes' presence is
significant it is so not for
what it will do (it will do
nothing) but rather for what
his presence will force us, as
thinking people with a
memory, to do.
We are forced now to
remember why Gomes had
to go into Exile in England.
We are forced now to
remember other people who
have found it necessary to
leave the land of their birth
because they would not lick
Williams' boots.
Williams' intolerance of
opposition and of people of
independent mind and
spirit, needs no documenta-
Famous for phrases such
as "Get to hell outa here"
and "when I say come he
cometh ." etc. Williams
sees himself as the super-
man rat in his hole that is
Trinidad and Tobago.
We are forced now to

remember Sir Learie Con-
stantine and Dr. Winston
Mahabir. We are forced now
to remember C.L.R. James,
his break with Williams and
the P.N.M., his Exile and
then house arrest when he
returned home. Now, he is
forced to rove the intema-
tional circuit, out of touch
with realities at home.
One must recall too Dr.
Patrick Solomon who is con-
veniently kept in London,
and Karl Hudson Phillips who
was cut down in the party,
just over a year ago.
But Albert Gomes was
one of the first Trinidadians
to get the shaft. Williams
refused to acknowledge that
Gomes was Trinidadian. To
the P.N.M. he was a
He was harassed, derided
and this harassment extended
to his family.
By 1962 it was difficult
for Gomes to exist even as an
ordinary citizen in this
country. So he packed up -
bag, baggage and family -
and left for England and a
job as a civil service clerk.
Gomes' presence now
forces us to acknowledge
that politics did in fact exist
in this country before Eric
Williams and the P.N.M. in
in 1965.
Williams would have us
believe that 1956 and the
P.N.M. was the beginning of
everything and that he is an
indispensable element in the
political life of this country
Williams would have us

believe too that for this
country to prevail, he must
prevail. But not so.
Gomes' presence here
reminds us that there is a
cycle involved, that govern-
ment changes hands, that one
era passes into another in
the nonnal flow of history.

One wonders if Gomes
was not speaking directly to
Eric Williams when he said
in an interview with John

"From my personal ex-
perience, if you have
power for too long it is
not a good thing. You
begin to feel that the
exercise of your own will,
in an arbitrary way, is
the only possible way to
solve all problems. And
of course this is not so at
all ..... No one is
indispensable; someone
else comes along and the
world goes on. "(Guardian.
January 8th 1975).
If in 1956 we had reached
the point where Williams
with his national movement
should have rightfully suc-
ceeded Gomes, the old
colonial politician, then the
time has now come for
others to succeed Will.ams
and the P.N.M. and steer the
country into "Independence
for keeps."
The end of tie Williams
era was, of course, dramatic-
ally marked by the February
Revolution of 1970. Williams
and the P.N.M. are now, in

fact, playing onborrowed
But there can be no
doubt that the end of
another era is here. Gomes
stands before Williams now
as irony personified. His-
torical forces, mightier than
all men, can neither be
stopped nor delayed indefi-
nitely. The historian Williams
knows this very well.
All that is left to be seen
now is how Williams will
react as the game draws to
an end.
Reviews and reports indi-
cate that Gomes in his book
is not bitter in the least
about Williams or the P.NM.
We are well aware that Gomes
did not fill up his pockets
while he enjoyed political
office. We know now that at
64, he is still working hard
for a living. We are bound to
compare him, therefore, to
Williams and his Cabinet of
fat cats.
We know too, that Gomes
is a man without honour in
his country and that he has
been victimised by Williams
and his ironies. This will
make us sympathetic and
His autobiography will do
much to fill in spaces in our
political history and will
demonstrate that other men
have made contributions to
our political development.
Surely the book will point
out that political develop-
ment involves change. This is
bound to undermine the
myths that Williams and the
P.N.M. have sought to create
about their indispensability.
If the book is widely
read, I think it could have a
subversive effect. It will not
create revolution. No. I think
it will be very quietly sub-
versive. It could, perhaps,
make people psychologically
ready to kick the P.N.M.
regime, once and for all, out
of their life.

Bhpendradatt Tewarie comments on the
significance of Bertie Gomes' visit
Look out for Tapia's review of Through
a Mae7c of Colouir.

11_____1__ __ _~_I_~ _

-sW~B~aP~B -I~------- ----- ~-a~-~---- mn


aeny one saw a ngure ringing
himself on the ground, rolling over
with the ball inches from the
ground. No one, I think, was as
petrified as Haniff as he gazed in
utter disbelief.
Sobers played memorable inn-
ings all over the world and at all
levels, for the WI, for South Australia,
for Nottinghamshire, for the Rest
of the world and in the Lancashire
League. It was four years before he
scored his first test century and
when he did accomplish the feat, he
outdid all other batsmen. 365 not
out against Pakistan at Sabina Park
which was to become his most
prolific ground in the West Indies
Two years later he was punishing
the MCC bowlers all over the"West
Indies and followed this with equal
ferocity against Australia in Aus-
tralia. From the very first day of
the series he set Brisbane alight by
mauling Davidson, Meckiff and
Benaud. And to add to it, he was
sharing the new ball with Hall and
later coming back with one- of his
varieties of spin. This onslaught on
bowlers and batsmen he maintained
throughout the 1960's. He was un-
questionably the greatest.

The Queen's Park Oval was
never his happiest hunting ground.
It was not until the fourth test
match against India in 1971 that we
were to see him score a test century
here. He had come close before -
80 against Pakistan before being
bowled by Nasim U1 Ghani and 92
against MCC before playing on to
Allan Moss. But his long awaited
century was not his finest knock at
the Oval. That honour must be
reserved for his 67 (if my memory
serves me right) against Australia in
1965. It was worth more than a
double century from lesser mortals.
Two particular strokes remain vivid
in my mind. The first was when he
square cut a rising ball from Laurie
Mayne between Graham Thomas
and Norman O'Neil. Neither fields-
man moved until the ball had
crashed into the fence. The second
shot was off the leg spinner Phlpott.
To all appearances Sobers was simply
playing forward yet the ball went
straight overhead and into the
pavilion. Few sixes have been as
effortlessy and gracefully hit. An
unfortunate incident with Butcher
led to his being run out. If ever a
century was certain that one was but
for chance.Six long years were to
pass before those magic three figures
took their place-next to his name
on the Oval scoreboard.
His other great performance in
Trinidad came in 1967, this time
with the ball. Trinidad had bundled
out Barbados between lunch and
tea for 149. Sobers came out like
a man with a mission or a light -
some twenty yards ahead of his
team and immediately proceeded to
mark out his run from the northern
end. Before we knew it three wickets
were down. In one of the most
remarkable displays of swing bowling
seen at the Oval Snhers tnnk three

\Jv~l 1 II__L-' s v^L ,sR-v

wickets for two runs off three
overs. And on several occasions in
the other 15 balls he beat the
batsmen all over the place. A
bewildered Rodriguez tried valiantly
for some time to get an edge. A
better batsman certainly would have.
A demoralised Trinidad team was
dismissed at the end of the day for
135, thanks to a fighting 61 not out
by Carew.
The most critical-moment of
Sobers' career came in 1965 when
he was appointed captain to suc-
ceed Worrell. From this time until
1972 when he resigned as captain
- he was the object of much critic-
ism. But the early years of his
captaincy were years of jubilation.
He became the first successful WI
captain against Australia. Conse-
quent on this feat the poet laureat
of Trinidad and Tobago the
Mighty Sparrow knighted him.
As Tapia pointed outlast week, long
before Her Gracious Majesty, the
Queen of England. As usual, Sparrow
was way ahead.
The defeat of Australia was
followed by victories in England,
India and Pakistan. Not a word of
criticism about Sobers' captaincy
was uttered. And then came 1968
and a one to nothing defeat at the
hands of the MCC. The controversial
declaration in the 4th test at the
Oval does not need to be detailed.
It is well known. Sobers was accused
of throwing away the series. I do
not accept this position myself. I
prefer to call it a miscalculation.
From this time on Sobers' cap-
taincy was maligned without fail.
Forgotten were the past victories.
Forgotten, too, were the previous
two occasions in the same series
when Sobers almost single-handedly
saved us from ignominious defeat.
The first was at the same Oval in the
first test match. At tea on the final
day seven wickets were down in our
second innings and we were in
danger of an innings defeat. It was
Sobers and Hall who steered us to
safety in the post-tea session. The
second was in the riot test at Sabina.
Once more we were on the verge of
an innings defeat and once more,
this time with Holford, Sobers
rescued us from the jaws of death.
And it did not end there. With an
inspired spell of bowling he drove
MCC to 68 for 8 when time was
called. On the last day of the very
next test -all that was forgotten as a
tirade of abuse was hurled at Gary.
There are more fundamental
issues involved in the captaincy
controversy though. By 1968 Hall
and Griffith had virtually shot their
bolt so that the edge of our opening
attack was blunted. Sobers was no
Worrel who performed, it is often
said, the dual function of captain
and manager. Sobers was a profes-

sional who expected every man to
do his duty. He askednooneto do
what he himself was not prepared
to do. He led by example. He never
nursed and coaxed his players. Most
of them were professionals and he
assumed competence.It was unfortu-
nate that this was extended to the
few non-professionals as well. Carew
can coax and be wet nurse to a
Trinidad team because it is essenti-
ally a young, non-professional team.
.It can't be done with team of
professionals. They must take up
their beds and walk. By contrast,
Sobers was regarded as an excellent
captain of Nottinghamshire, South
Australia and the Rest of the

As Sparrow would say, the
grumbling went on and on. Hounded
by the critics and blamed for every
mishap, Sobers had the humility to
surrender the captaincy gracefully,
without rancour. Then temporarily
the hounds of hell were withdrawn,
only to be unleashed last year at
Kanhai when MCC undeservedly
drew the series. And remember that
eight months before the critics were
loud in their praise of Kanhai when
we decisively beat England in
England. The wheel had gone full
circle. Lloyd had better brakes for
himself if anything goes wrong.
In the seventies, contrary to a
lot of talk, Sobers continued to
perform well with bat, ball and
hands. He performed well against
India in 1971 and England in 1973,
saved us in Barbados against New

Zealand, and calpetted Lillee all
over the place in 1972 when he
captained the Rest of the World. It
was an innings which most of us
saw on TV and which was acclaimed
as the greatest ever by the maestro
himself, Donald Bradman.
These- days, when tempers
have begun to fly in Australia and
umpires' decisions are again in
serious question there, the career of
Sobers stands like a beacon against
the darkest of horizons. He was
never one to question the umpire or
to conduct himself unceremoniously
on the field. Many times he had
reason to for example when the
umpire disallowed his catch off
McKay in 1960 yet that grin was
almost always there.
l ; ws in the character of Gary
as much as in the records that his
greatness lay. He was a cricketer
with charisma in the strictest sense
of the term. Whenever he took the
ball to bowl, there was always the
feeling that something would happen
even though up to that time the
batsmen had looked secure. For
years I have told several of my
friends that it did not matter to
me whether Sobers made runs or
not. The mere sight of hiram son-ng
down the pavilion steps was more
than my money's worth. My reaction
may be an exaggeration but I think
that it helps to make the point about
his impact on the game.
To use Wordsworth's words
on the eve of the French Revolution
is perhaps the finest tribute in
words to pay to Garfield St. Aubyn
Sobers; Bliss was it in that dawn to
be alive,
But to see Sobers play was
very heaven.