Society can best embrace V.S. Naipaul is by reading his works and understanding how he relected on the times, Savi Naipaul Akal, one of the three surviving siblings of late Nobel Prize-winning writer has said. Naipaul, 85, died on August 11.
“The best way our society can embrace Sir Vidia is for people to read his works and (understand) how he reflected on the condition of our society,” she said.
Naipaul’s other surviving sisters are Nalini Chapman, 66, who lives in Scotland, and Mira Enalsingh, 82, in the US. Their elder sister Kamla Naipaul Tewari died several years ago, and their brother, Shiva, a writer, died at 40 in 1985.
“We are not going to prolong anything further. I need some time now for myself, to be pensive and reflect on what we shared.
“We kept in touch always. We have not had any altercation, but we disagreed on certain things. But we were a family and kept in touch,” Akal added.
Lady Nadira, Naipaul’s wife of 20 years, has said that the funeral will be very private, emphatically a non-religious affair, with only close family and friends. It will be followed by a memorial service where more people may be invited.
Naipaul was born into a traditional Hindu family in Chaguanas in Trinidad and Tobago. His maternal and paternal grandfather’s arrived here as indentured labourers from India, between 1845 and 1917, to work on the sugar plantations, and help arrest the decaying agricultural economy.
Former Principal of the University of the West Indies St. Augustine, Campus, Bhoendradatt Tewarie, a close friend of Naipaul, hailed his works and life as one which is emulative.
Through the University, Tewarie brought Naipaul to Trinidad for a lecture in 2008. A cultural show organised by Tewarie called on the hundreds who attended it, to pause for a minute of silence in Naipaul’s memory .
Public Relations Officer of the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC), Surujdeo Mangaroo, said that Trinidad and Tobago is, poorer on his death as his voice had become a spokesman for the world society in matters of colonialism, neo colonialism and the sociology of peoples and nations.
So far, there has been no word of honour or memorial from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
This writer has appealed to the government to name the Chaguanas Public library in Naipaul’s honour, as it is sited just a stone’s throw from the Lion House, where he was born.