Relieve rapists of their tongues

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, June 8th 2008

ViolenceWITH 27 years of writing columns under my belt-I once wrote two columns a week, but never scaled Keith Smith’s one-a-day heights-how well I recall sitting before a typewriter and pondering for hours: what topic shall I choose today? At this sordid point in our nation’s history, that question has reversed itself: what do I not write about? Which is a hell-of-a-dilemma: it’s a sign of the times we live in. So much to write about, so little space.

For example, I can focus on National Security Minister Martin Joseph and the numerous “arrestesses” he expects to make to bring crime under control by 2011. Of course, with the number of murders for this year ticking away faster than the Beijing Olympics countdown-clock, we may yet win “gold” in body-count before the first event of the Games gets underway. But our Jamaican cousins, always ready to humble us (look how Usain Bolt came on the sprint-scene after Darrel Brown, and he has already shattered several records), would edge us out in bloodletting as well. So for this week I shall ignore Joseph. I shan’t call for him to step down. He’s already in a crime-pit, so how much lower can he go?

I thought about addressing Barack Obama’s likelihood of becoming America’s first non-all-white president. But I’ll need much more space to spell out why Barack will not bring on the many changes people believe he would. That all-powerful military-industrial complex that really runs America would cut him down the way they erased Lincoln, JFK, Martin Luther King and sundry other prominent leaders. Although I sense a mood for change among many White Americans that overrides colour and class, for those who make billions of dollars out of America’s war machine, you simply can’t have a half-Black messing with that kind of windfall.

But my editor would need to spare me much more than half-a-page to delve into the significant shift-not quite seismic-among Americans in general, their yearning for serious changes in that country’s social and economic systems, its future role in global politics. So if not Barack, what?

The UDeCOTT scandal that seems to be a Pandora’s box Prime Minister Patrick Manning is hesitating to open, fearing what may fly out of it? Two weeks after he caved in to a public outcry for a thorough investigation into the affairs of the do-it-all company, he cannot find someone willing to head a commission of enquiry. Things are becoming rather rough for the PM.

There is no shortage of eminent people in this country who qualify to head such an enquiry. Why are they shying away from peering into UDeCOTT? Could it be that they, too, are afraid of what they may find? Or could it be that with several previous enquiries yielding reports but no action, they do not wish to waste their time? It has been more than two years since a report on the incomplete Scarborough hospital was handed in to Government. No one has been charged with any wrongdoing, not even the people or firms that chose the site for the structure, which was the genesis of problem. A probe into the Biche High School has left only a multi-million-dollar complex standing idle, gathering moss, rust, rot and who knows what else. Meanwhile, the children of the area suffer unduly as they shuttle to schools far from their districts at ungodly hours.

I shift focus to the many Mano Benjamins who have emerged from Jah-knows-where to stalk, brutalise, rape and murder our womenfolk. Way back when rapists were fewer, Mano gained notoriety as the “Beast from Biche”, as the late Justice Evans Rees dubbed him. Mano, a giant and an ogre wrapped into one burly frame, had committed such heinous acts on two young women, his name became synonymous with unspeakable crimes.

Today, it seems there are many Manos stalking the country. And they no longer need to be “big and bad”. A slip-of-a-man is said to have confessed to brutalising an eight-year-old to death, a most gruesome one if we are to accept media and police reports. Looking at him on television, I thought to myself: little wonder he chose to attack a child. If a geezer like me were to hit him one backhand-slap, he’d surely take the count. But a child was an easy victim for that excuse-for-a-man.

Then another Mano raped and brutally murdered a woman in the Aripo area. There were several reports of girls and women either being raped during robberies or by men pretending to be taxi-drivers. What the hell is happening in this country? As if gang-related murders are not enough to cope with, we now have gangs of rapists scouring the country, seeking out hapless victims.

I am no sadist. But I think confirmed rapists should have their “members” sliced and their tongues removed-sans anaesthesia. Remove their two weapons of sexual destruction, especially the latter, which is often the only one operational. Ah lie?

8 Responses to “Relieve rapists of their tongues”


  • Very well put, I could not have wrap this up better myself, but unfortunately this is just another colum that would not reach the larger public of Trinidad because half of them don’t read the newspaper. And this does not affect the current situation as usually because of the current PNM ruling.

    There were never a black PM or President in the world who did bot run a country to the ground, the white leaders brough us where we are today and will keep on leading. So if looking for something better from Manning keep on looking
    because he is headed in Robert Mugabi direction, Povery, crime and low ecomonic standards while he showers himself with country wealth.

    Like most of my friends in Trinidad who is always complaining away about food prices and everything else expensive, I said to them “this is what you voted for so like any other Trinidadian take on yuh ches”.

  • Once again Raffique goes off on one of his irresponsible rants.

  • Patrick Manning, his wife who said crime will fade and his government, have no interest in finding solutions to this nightmare. It is to their benefit. Let rape, murder, robbery and mental abuse be rampant so that people will constantly live in fear and they will have no time and energy to really focus on this corrupt government.
    This government is getting away with abuse, rape, robbery and murder!!!!
    That’s my take.

  • Kristian must have notice dthat the an who raped an dkilled Hope was named Ali and looked Indian, and that the ones who recently poisoned their children then drank it themselves were Indian. Would a White president have changed this? then lets draft Dr.julian Kenny immediately. I am fed up of the people who did not deeper than PNM animus to explain the deep=seated ills in the society that pre-date the Manning government. The man who set fire to his wife for cooking roti and bhagi is to be blamed on Manning too? Such idiotic comments
    belong in the dustbin of progressive ideas.

    Did any government import Mugabe haters to TnT. Where do they get their information from?

  • RE: Linda’s answer to Kristian, BRAVO people like her want others to believe that the only race which commits crime is the black ,Crime has no colour.In the Bible there was criminals as well and whether it is so called white colour crime it is still crime, as though Indian and White and Chinese and Native or Indgenous people for that matter dont commit crimes FOOLISHNESS STEUPS.Raffique keep up the good work I enjoy your column.

  • BRAVO ? for what? An incoherent rant by Linda Edwards? Linda Edwards must be a racist! Only a racist would stoop to such a low level of discourse.
    The fact is that most crimes in T&T are committed by Blacks, but that is really irrelevant in this discussion.Blacks also are the under priviledged group in these crime ridden areas. There really is no racial monopoly on crime, so why debase this blog with such drivel.

  • Joan, you misinformed person! I believe what you are talking about is white COLLAR crime. You people carry on and it seems that only you know what you mean.

    Of course you would tell Raffique you enjoy his column, where he complains that his editor will only give him 1/2 a page and then wastes half of that deciding what to write. His editor should have only given him 1/4. His thoughts are so random and incohesive that the only people who seem to enjoy and agree with him are those of a similar mindset.

  • It appears that Raffique is rightly incensed about many things, including crime, but he does not really have solutions, so he suggests these crude forms of punishment as a way to show how fed up he is with the situation.

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