Global Politics & Cultures (formerly Independent Thought & Freedom)
Episode 21

Choosing a Life of Action as a Young Man w/ Basdeo Panday

Kirk Meighoo published on

LISTEN to the FULL episodes 1,2 & 4 w/ former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Basdeo Panday BELOW! 

Is Higher Education a way of running away from the world?

Basdeo Panday, former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, lived and extremely full, active and productive life.  However, as a young man, there was one crucial choice that led him in that direction.

After spending many years in England, the young Basdeo Panday had received a scholarship to go to New Delhi in India to get his Master's degree.

On his way to India, he decided to stop in Trinidad and Tobago, to visit his family.  Not impressed by the new independent government of Dr. Eric Williams -- the internationally renowned intellectual -- and curious about the political and trade union protests that were rising up all over the country, the young Panday decided to attend a political meeting near his village.

Speaking there was another Trinidadian intellectual of international renown, CLR James, along with prominent national political personalities.

To his surprise, the young Panday was invited to the stage to speak. He had no idea what to say, but what happened after that meeting would change his life forever.

He had to decide what he wanted to do with his life and whether he should abandon the track that was already laid out for him for a comfortable future.  What Stephen Maharaj -- the local radical Member of Parliament for the area -- told him, shook him up and he could never be the same again.

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