The biography of Arjune Teeluck
Arjune was born on March 12, 1949 at Mandingo Road, Princes Town-Trinidad, WI. At the age of six, Arjune started primary school. He learned to read his beginners book which was bought for him a week or so before the beginning of his first school term. On his first day at school he read out the entire book and was immediately promoted to the class for second year students. He thereafter topped each class, placing first right up to standard five when he wrote the then “common entrance exam” for entry into secondary school. That he would excel in this exam was a foregone conclusion. However, when the results came in all was shocked when it was learned that he had in fact failed. So distraught was Arjune that he demanded that the then school principal leave no stones unturned in obtaining his examination papers. Yet in spite of his unrelenting pleads the school principal advised Arjune’s father that such errors were not uncommon and that he, the school principal would assist in paying the fees to have Arjune attend a private college. He further agreed to have Arjune spend time at his home where he would provide personalized tutoring.
Arjune started college at the age of thirteen years. He quite justifiably harbored great mistrust of the education system and while he excelled in Mathematics and English, he refused to give the requisite consideration to the other subject areas. He could not understand why it was necessary to commit to memory who was the Prime Minister of this or that Caribbean State, its capital city, its size and population and so on. He further found that while it was interesting to read ‘British history’ it was absolutely wasteful to have to remember dates, times, personalities and the specifics of foreign historic happenings. He entertained the unshakable view that all examinations with the exception of Mathematics and English should be confined to students having to do research papers through unrestricted access to the relevant texts. He felt that students in general were being exploited by having them fill their minds with information that would serve little or no purpose in advancing their mental genius. The ‘system’ he believed was designed to create mindless coons rather than intellectual, innovative, creative and independent thinkers. This process of thought however, did not go down well with the school’s administrative and teaching staff and Arjune was branded a rebel and trouble maker.
His father was summoned to visit the school’s principal on numerous occasions to address one complaint after another for defiance of the school’s curriculum. The principal however, observed that Arjune was quite brilliant and decided to wave all school fees if Arjune would conform to the educational system. Arjune however refused to budge and was now more often absent than present at school.
Apart from this obvious retaliation against the education system another problem was brewing at home. Remember that both of Arjune’s parents were prominent Hindus who, without compromise, religiously followed the ritualistic prescribes of their faith. Arjune however, refused to take part in the many ordained rituals. He unreservedly expressed the view that ordinary people were of this or that religion by blind unreasoning faith while the priestly class were of the same by trade or profession, making a lucrative living by exploiting the ignorance of the masses. Arjune however, was an avid reader; he joined the public library and read extensively. He studied the religious texts of the major religions and books on science and philosophy. Neither his father nor the many prominent priests who were called in to counsel him could prevail against his incredible ability to defend his views. His father, Mr. Teeluck was at the same time very proud of his sons ability to defeat the best minds in defense of his ideology but equally saddened by the fact that the very teachings that he propagated within his village community was scorned by his own son. Notwithstanding this dilemma, Mr. Teeluck held his son in the highest esteem and as his confidante right until his death.
Arjune dropped out of college in the third year, became a village social and cultural activist and at the age of nineteen joined the police service. He again rebelled against what he termed the overspreading of socio-economic and social injustice. The prevailing culture of inequality of protection under the law, and inadequate access to justice by ordinary citizens outraged him so much so that he resigned from the service a couple years later to become a political activist. He organized a limited liability agricultural cooperative society and successfully negotiated a 1.6 million dollar loan from the Agricultural Development Bank and further represented other members in accessing individual loans from other State lending agencies in an amount exceeding 5.4 Million Dollars. From then on he was referred to as the 6 million dollar man a name associated with a popular movie at the time. Now the government of the day was convinced that Arjune was using the cooperative as a launch vehicle to enter the political arena. As a result all the books, registers and documents of the society were seized by the police in an alleged investigation of fraud. To date, some 30 years later, and after a continuous struggle to obtain redress for this obvious persecution by the State, the said books, registers and documents have not been returned and the matter remains still unresolved. (www.arjuneteeluck.com – Read document titled “State Victimization/ Abuse of Due Process”).
Resulting from this situation and the alleged ongoing victimization by the State, Arjune spend all his earnings in his aforementioned struggle to secure a just resolution to decades of political persecution. During this time he founded “The Community Improvement Volunteers Integrated Council – C.I.V.I.C.” He has since written several books/plays/papers/articles on various subjects many of which have been published on his website- www.arjuneteeluck.com. The activities and achievements of C.I.V.I.C. and too, other relevant information can also be accessed from the same website. Now in his seventies, and notwithstanding the fact that the road ahead remains for him both uphill and winding, Arjune is no less committed to his ongoing struggle for socio-economic and political justice for all.