Ranjit Kumar: Bridging the East and West

Set against a backdrop of British rule over India and the Caribbean during the early twentieth century, this book records the life of Ranjit Kumar and his contribution to the physical, cultural and political development of Trinidad and Tobago. Born in the Punjab, India, in 1912, young Kumar migrated with his mother to England, where he later graduated as a Civil Engineer (London). He returned to India and served for two years in the Indian Police Service before seizing an opportunity to travel to Trinidad in 1935. On his journey from East to West Kumar brought with him an Indian movie, Bala Joban, birthing the local Indian film industry which played a major role in the renaissance of Indo-Trinidadian culture. Appointed assistant city engineer in 1937, he significantly transformed Trinidad’s infrastructure, most legendarily through the construction of Wrightson Road- the country’s first dual carriageway- on land reclaimed from the harbour. Political life then beckoned him. Kumar served as a member of the Port of Spain City Council and on the Legislative Council from 1946-1956, fighting tirelessly for the betterment of the country. A thrilling combination of history and personal drama, the story of this son of India and the reality of his experience in his adopted country will captivate its audience, old and young- both as a fresh look at the past and as a call for the future.