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The “unknown” Caribbean – Trinidad and Tobago

Ever heard of the term “Third World Nationalist”? Well neither did I until I met the infamous Dr Kirk Meighoo!  Kirk and I have been friends for many years, often being verbal sparring partners when navigating the world of identity, economics and policies. In this episode, we take a voyage through the neglected side of Trinidad. The southernmost island country in the Caribbean that is best known for its fossil-fuel wealth and its carnival culture. Kirk expertly guides me through the deeper issues at play and why all community voices matter when trying to create national prosperity.  We also look at his own remarkable life and why he took the decision to leave Canada to move back to his ancestral home.

About  Kirk Meighoo

Dr. Kirk Meighoo is a political economist, broadcaster, author and former Independent Senator in Trinidad and Tobago. He has been a nationally, regionally and globally recognised public intellectual since 1992.

Dr. Meighoo has the unique honour of being the only West Indian to have launched a book in the UK House of Commons in Westminster. He also co-authored Democracy and Constitution Reform in Trinidad and Tobago with Court of Appeal Justice Peter Jamadar.

Dr. Meighoo was Honorary Fellow at the Trinidad and Tobago Institute of the West Indies in Tunapuna for many years, working closely with the late Lloyd Best, one of the Caribbean’s leading intellectuals.

Dr. Meighoo served as an Independent Senator and also in various governmental capacities, including Vice-Chair of the Constitutional Reform sub-committee of the Vision 2020 process, and on the President’s Committee for National Self-Discovery, dealing with race relations, and included the late Dana Seetahal, Professor Kenneth Ramchand, among others.

He remains on the Advisory Board of the CARICOM Integrationist and was also the Intellectual and Academic Advisor to the UWI – CARICOM Project. He also worked in Jamaica closely with the late Professor Norman Girvan, Secretary-General of the Association of Caribbean States and head of the Government of Jamaica’s planning agency under Prime Minister Michael Manley.

He was retained by the Turkeyn Research and Polling Institute in 2019 to help resolve the political crisis in Guyana.

Dr. Meighoo formerly lectured at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Jamaica, and was a founder of the University of Trinidad and Tobago.  He was Wilberforce Scholar at the University of Hull, UK, working under the late Dr. Eric Williams’s last scholarly collaborator, Professor Paul Sutton.  His scholarly articles on Trinidad and Tobago politics and Caribbean development have been published globally in The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Keesing’s Annual Register (First edited in 1758 by Edmund Burke), Commonwealth Lawyer, Jane’s Sentinel, among others. He is regularly ranked in the Top 0.5% of academics searched for in the world on the website

His latest piece was commissioned by the Commonwealth’s Round Table journal to report on the impact of Covid-19 on the Caribbean region as a whole.

Dr. Meighoo has appeared extensively on radio, television and newspapers in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, on the BBC, in the New York Times, Mauritius, Singapore, and India in addition to addressing various United Nations and Commonwealth bodies nationally and regionally. He also hosts the “Politics and Polemics” channel on the New Books Network, published out of Massachusetts, USA, which is the largest book podcast in the world, getting 1.5 million downloads per month.

Dr. Meighoo was a founder of the British-Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and has consulted for Fortune 500 Companies including BP Trinidad and Tobago, JP Morgan, among others, in addition to serving on boards of several innovative start-up companies in the fields of environmentally harmonious development, digital technology, security, and media.  He is an advisor for Global Consulting firm NazranRoth.

About the Global Indian Series:

My name is Rajan Nazran Chief Explorer for the Global Indian Series, the official platform for people of Indian origin (PIO), because let’s face it, we are everywhere!

For almost 15 years we have travelled across the globe covering 58 countries to date whilst exploring the kaleidoscope of our remarkable 50 shades of brown community.

Voyaging to the edges of the Amazon, facing Ebola in West Africa, being held hostage in Eastern Europe, tapping rubber in Malaysia, drinking chai with Heads of State and sharing laughter with local fishermen – I have been there, looking for us!

Our purpose is simple, to build a living encyclopaedia of the human experience of the community and a safe mooring ground for open discussions, whether you are an NRI, Indian Diaspora, person of Indian origin (PIO) or a fan of South Asian anthropology, what we do is bring people and communities together.

We do this by plunging into the human experience of being a person of Indian origin (PIO), taking a second look at the countries we now call home and tackling the conversations we need to know more about.

Through our range of award-winning original content (print, podcasts, events and TV) and fascinating discussions, our impactful stories and platforms have spearheaded national and international conversations that have brought people together.  Our work is featured in global brands including The Indian Express through to the CNBC network.

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Special thank you to TAIZU for the music

Episode: 114

Presenter – Rajan Nazran

Producer –Global Indian Series/NazranRoth

Guests in order: Dr Kirk Meighoo

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