Coping with the generation gap

By Raffique Shah
May 17, 2015

Raffique ShahIf you allow yourself to be consumed by politicking that more so in the run-up to elections, is a deafening cacophony that can distract you to death, you miss out on not-too-subtle changes that are altering the landscape fundamentally.

I am in my 70th year, and while some aspects of aging are catching up with me, I remain mentally alert, capable of digesting many of the exciting advances in technology that, for better or for worse, have opened up new horizons that we must learn to live with or find ourselves buried in the sands of time.

More importantly, people of my generation must accept that while some of us may still have the energy and drive to make contributions to our communities and country, those who hold the reins of power-in politics, industry, education and so on-are years, sometimes decades, younger than us.

And as we grow older, if we live on, the generational gap will grow wider.

In Trinidad, the President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice, commanders of the armed forces and protective services, captains of industry and commerce, unionists, educators, are much younger than us.

Across the region, except for a few hardy souls (St Vincent’s Ralph Gonsalves and Cuba’s Raul Castro come to mind), leaders in their 40s and 50s are in charge.

Hell, David Cameron, who was re-elected Prime Minister of Britain recently, was born in October 1966: at that time, I had just graduated from Sandhurst at age twenty, and was attending two other courses before returning home to take up duties as a platoon commander.

US President Barack Obama was born in 1961, when I was a pupil preparing to write exams at Presentation College, Chaguanas.

When people of my generation go to the bank or shop at a store, when we conduct business at Government offices, we interact with people who could be our children or grandchildren.

Last week, I visited my local EBC office to apply for a new identification card.

The old one I took with me had expired in 1981. You should see the expressions on the faces of those who tried to make sense of this relic I tendered.

Most of them had not been born then. Luckily, anticipating that I would encounter some difficulties, I had taken some other documents, and the head of the office (she must be in her 40s) agreed to issue me a new card.

Personally, I have long come to terms with this generational gap. It wasn’t something that suddenly struck me at age 60. Being actively involved in athletics from my 40s until I was 65, I had the pleasure of interacting with hundreds of very young people, helping to mould many of them into decent, responsible adults, and creating opportunities for them to move up and on with their lives.

More than that, as someone who assumed leadership roles from my teens, who was trained in leadership before I was 21, and who served in many leadership positions as I matured, I can relate to and identify with young people who are seeking their place in the sun: all power to them!

I make these points at a time when many young persons in their 20s to 40s are offering themselves as candidates to contest the upcoming general election. Not that we have not had young persons in Parliament in the distant past. One name that comes to mind is Hans Hanoomansingh (DLP) who won a seat in 1966 when he would have been just over 20. I am sure there were others before him, just as I know of others afterwards (in 1976, Ian Anthony, 21, PNM, and Haffezar Khan, 24, ULF).

In the current Parliament, there are many senators and MPs who can be considered young, meaning being between 20 and 40.

And I note that many more are offering themselves as candidates for the upcoming election, which I applaud.

But being young, by itself, does not mean a thing, except, perhaps, having more energy than the older geezers around you.

Young politicians and activists should bring to the offices they hold qualities that the older goats seem to have dispensed with.

First, they must reject corruption that, over decades, has feasted on the public purse, siphoning billions of dollars that could have been used to make our country a better place. They must have the courage to speak out against banditry, especially if it’s happening in their own party.

Second, they must stand up against the evils of racism and nepotism that, for far too long, have haunted this cosmopolitan country, preventing it from realising its full potential. If you sit in a government (or opposition) that reeks of these negatives and you fail to speak out against them, then you are as guilty as the perpetrators.

Most importantly, young politicians must assert themselves by refusing to be mere decorations, mannequins nodding their heads in approval of every lie that comes out of the mouths of their leaders.

Be prepared to sacrifice your seat in pursuit of keeping your integrity intact.

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but in the process lose his own soul…

12 Responses to “Coping with the generation gap”


  • It is always good to see young people get involved in election. The danger with youths though is power can get to their head and cause them to behave in a manner that is inconsistent with the office.

  • Bang on! I believe that is one wrong in T&T politics, and that is you are expected ‘to tow the line’ at all times moreso when votes are needed to pass a piece of legislation. The integrity of some people becomes sacrificed at the altar. I have had the pleasure to know some good people before they entered politics only not to recognize them during their tenure. I have met some of them who were the average Joe only to see them at a commanding stature with filled pockets and rubbing shoulders with the Socials. The sad story is it is the average follower who lacking spines and subject themselves to the intellectual bandits that suffer. Maybe this is one reason why we are viewed by some outsiders as ‘Trickidadians’. The young ones have learnt well form us in lying, staging and set up, and that ‘m’ word, oh yes, mamaguy.

  • Education. Employment. Health. The environment. These are the issues often identified by young people, no matter where they live, as key issues of today.Exactly what issues are the motivators of the youth of T&T?
    Hopefully our young people are not motivated by the power and money ambitions of the older political generations of both major parties.
    Raffique gives some excellent advice to those young people who plan to represent their fellow citizens, in particular,”they must stand up against the evils of racism and nepotism that, for far too long, have haunted this cosmopolitan country, preventing it from realizing its full potential”.

  • “I had the pleasure of interacting with hundreds of very young people, helping to mould many of them into decent, responsible adults, and creating opportunities for them to move up and on with their lives…. young politicians must assert themselves by refusing to be mere decorations, mannequins nodding their heads in approval of every lie that comes out of the mouths of their leaders…..Be prepared to sacrifice your seat in pursuit of keeping your integrity intact.”
    Uncle Shah

    Hey folks ,it was some 18 plus years ago,after returning from tribally fractured,war torn Afghanistan-where Mujahadeens ,such as Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani,and Abdul Sayyaf,Commander Massoud,Ishmael Khan ,Engineer Gulbuddin Hekmatyar ,Hajir Quadir,with brother Abdul Haq,and General Abdul Rashid Doustum reign,while trying to starve off ,then young Taliban fighters.
    I returned to America,after a 3rd stint, as a peace agent,for my Global INGO employers.
    It was then that I decided ,to finally become a herbivore…ummm vegetarian. The mad cow disease,was in full bloom.
    The wanton violence ,human depravity-and worst ,the sickening plight of widowed females ,along with fatherless children- witnessed,was too much.
    My questionable views on Islam,also took shape ,as I witnessed young fighters such( as then ) Mullah Abdul Omar Mohammed,in Kandahar,who would stop fighting temporarily,to do daily prays,during the peak of Ramadan,sit at our Peace negotiations table for a bit,then promptly return, to bomb their distant cousins, in capital Kabul,poppy haven Jilalabad, Iran’s border Herat,and Northern province, Uzbek dominant provinces,such as Mazari Sharif.
    If a woman lost her husband during stupid wars ,yet is prevented from working,how is she expected to take care of herself,much less kids?
    The embryo for my new vegetarian lifestyle,was however planted long before ,I even left my country of birth in 91. Thanks Bro Rex Lassale ,for your veganist ,radio media activism.

    Thanks Uncle Shah,for likewise,being a beacon of hope,and leading the way-in your various capacities /diverse careers/ voluntary civic endeavors-which has helped ,advanced the lives of our youths,and adults alike.
    You are an inspiration,for those of us with interest in neo progressive politics,labor activism ,pushing sports,as a health tool,and prudent media advocacy.
    Well done ,though good ,and faithful servant.
    Through it all,your pride for personal heritage,was never in question,but so too,your greater love for tu Pais,T&T.

    Oh,and did I mention ,that I was privileged ,along with my Mission head,to spend some time ,with one time Pro Soviet Afghan leader , Dr Najibullah ,who was under house arrest -at ,of all places,a UN compound-for some time …ummmmm…when Mujahadeens assumed power?
    For the record,he was eventually murdered ,in a most gruesome fashion ,via public square hanging,by Taliban fighters,who with the help of Pakistan,and their American benefactors,had wrestled power from Mujahadeens.
    Just like that 94 Rwandan ,genocidal-do nada -Security Council debacle, my faith in glorified,international bodies, such as the UN ,was tested.
    Thanks Papa Defy Eric Williams,for saving the lives of two young,idealistic,Sandhurst Coup School trained, Tethron-gangreen- Officers,for their role ,in ….. well…ummm ,….nuff said ,eeehhh ,Uncle Shah?
    We won’t speculate,as to what might have been the fate of these two lads-judicial decisions or not- if Papa Basdeo Panday,and equally unforgiving,protege,were the PM,and not the wise ,benevolent ,Dr Williams.
    Maybe we should just have a moratorium,on dem politically dunce lawyers ,becoming political leaders.
    Just kidding!

    Yep,and thank you Mama Verna St Rose,for your unflinching efforts re ,standing up ,-ugly ,as it sometimes may be -for the protection /empowerment ,of the weak-many of them children,who cannot vote.
    Most choose to view you, as some crazy/nut job,but are ready to give ,Uncle Shah’s Sandhurst comrade ,Dr Wayne Kublalsingh ,’the Al Gore ,Nobel Peace prize treatment,for his suspect- environmental protection efforts,on behalf Point Fortin squatters,and or,acquisition of the unverifiable, Guinness world record,for longest period ,of a fast.

    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/videos/-VERNA-ST-ROSE-GREAVES-STORMS-PARLIAMENT–233885081.html?m=y&smobile=y

    Ain’t this something people?
    This inept Kamla creature,fired what, some 25- handpicked government ministers ,and yet,only one hence – like that proverbial voice ,crying out from the T&T wilderness of social despair-where is the justice,for those powerless,and weak,or put differently ,decided hold Kamla, and fellow PP ,self serving,political goons ,hands to de symbolic fire?
    Where you at local Transparency International high priestess ,Ms King?

    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20150517/news/how-the-60m-scam-went-down

    Ok,we get it,perhaps like many discarded- before,and after you- simply too busy, eating your PP food,which most likely,ensured your silence,as bandits ,raped,prey/plunder ,willy nilly,at our underachieving T&T,economic underbelly,hmmm?
    How is that governmental- fox hound,First Citizens bank raiding ,character ,doing folks?
    Well..,we know our Stock exchange ,and Central Bank ,have been compromised,and no financial institutions is safe but who will seek justice for citizens of our T&T? Did they pass the law to muzzle our Credit Unions?
    Thanks ,Dr Keith Rowley ,aka de Rottweiler, for tenaciously,taking your bite,against white color criminality,as perpetuated by ….ummmm….many.
    As we watch the idiotic legal ,and parliamentary charades,of undemocratic ,UNC dominant,PP bozos,re the email fiasco,we in de know ,are reminded of an old saying,which often helped show, the expose rear ends of the guilty-‘de truth does offend.’
    These political clowns ,can’t decide if they hate or love the police ,or DPP ,and so want to force feed us nonsense, about how great,and or superior, American law enforcement agencies are.
    FBI? Please!
    Thanks Commander David Granger,for using your leadership skills ,in furthering the neglected interest, of your people,via the political arena.
    Together with other- cross tribal -progressives,you have laid a foundation ,that can heal your country,and nudge it onto a part,of long overdue, sustainable development. One nation ,one people,one destiny!

    https://youtu.be/OGVhwUTznEc

    Trust me when I say Mr President,the challenges ahead,would be mammoth.
    Nevertheless,best wishes for your coalition government,and good riddance of a 23 year old political cancer,that was the Dentist Marxist Chedi,closet CIA Janet,diabolical Socialist Jagdeo,Socialist bandit Ramoutar -PPP regime.
    Just like T&T,they too adore state apparatuses ,and agents ,who kowtow ,to their wishes,but won’t hesitate to denounce same ,when they don’t help further their power grab.
    Thanks America,Britain,the EU,and most importantly , GECOM ,for telling sore losers,Jagdeo,and Rumoutar ,to take their post elections grievances ,and shove it where the moon won’t shine…ummmmmm….under the Berbice ,or Demerara murky river.
    If you ,and disgruntled fans, feel so bad ,then go take a General ,and start a revolutionary coup ,like they often do,in tin pan Republics ,such as Nigeria,and Pakistan.
    Ooooops,I take dat back ,for Guyana ,already have their elected General,and so their allegiance would be for him ,and not you unpatriotic,political bums.
    Let me add,that almost 8 years ago in America,during the Barrack Obama campaign,young people came out in their numbers,from all across that country, to support his national efforts,to vote,and eventually ,put their lives in service ,for their country.
    They took the lead,from a young skinny ,biracial,Hawaiian kid ,turned educated activist,who with the help of Black Liberation theologian ,Reverend Wright,and yuppie wife ,aided the poor ,and needy in South side Chicago America-and the rest,as we say ,is history.
    Many likewise ,did the same in our T&T ,five years ago,as they heeded the rallying cry ,of a new ,promising female political head,who with her wide ranging,multifaceted cast,promised authentic changes,after years of fake Christian,African poor folks despising, Patrick Manning, mismanagement.
    Today,sadly,most citizens-of all tribal stripes ,one should add-are just counting down the days to the next elections.
    Guyana took their step to eradicate a poisonous climate of neo tribal-self aggrandizing politics,unwarranted racial hatred /leadership neglectful ,feudalistic thinking ,decisiveness,corruption,Parliamentary-non democratic behavior,economic stagnation,cronyism,and defeatist ,finger pointing.
    The question is,will T&T follow suit,when the time inevitably ,presents itself?
    Optimists that I am ,I say si?
    Wonderful,and if I dare say , quite poignant piece ,Uncle Shah.
    Keep up the work,and more importantly -wink,wink,dem military uniforms buttons shined ,for …,hey ,you never know when you might be called upon to serve your Nation ,in some capacity.
    How old again is de Guyanese,new ‘Presidente’ again? Just checking.
    Ahhhhhhh, we socio political animals.
    Such a beautiful week for long suffering Guyana ,a people’s Democratic will, the region as a whole!
    ‘Where you at,’T&T!
    One gone ,and another to follow?
    Love Humanity people!

  • Great advice to young aspiring politicians. Most important though is to be guided by God.

  • “First, they must reject corruption that, over decades, has feasted on the public purse, siphoning billions of dollars that could have been used to make our country a better place. They must have the courage to speak out against banditry, especially if it’s happening in their own party.

    Second, they must stand up against the evils of racism and nepotism that, for far too long, have haunted this cosmopolitan country, preventing it from realising its full potential. If you sit in a government (or opposition) that reeks of these negatives and you fail to speak out against them, then you are as guilty as the perpetrators.

    Most importantly, young politicians must assert themselves by refusing to be mere decorations, mannequins nodding their heads in approval of every lie that comes out of the mouths of their leaders.”

    Very good advice moving forward. Despotic, self promoting, narcissistic style of leadership cannot be the way forward for one of the most blessed nation in the Caribbean. We have been there done that….

  • This report reminds me VERY CLEARLY the days after my youngest daughter recently graduated from a well known university at the the graduate level in business. She had only recently graduated when she was challenged in a new job to do something really unethical by her trini bosses. She confided in me whether to leave the job or look the other way. THIS JOB WAS IN NORTH AMERICA. You would appreciate jobs then (2013) were very difficult to get so holding on to what you got was important. What struck her was in the business course “ethics” was a topic discussed in great detail and some key things remained fresh in her mind. She wanted to get my opinion as in her mind leaving the job was the only option for her, given her upbringing. No doubt taking care of her needs then was very important to her. No doubt it was a difficult option for her. In my mind ( I did not tell her this ) I was extremely happy that she, on her own decided she was going to leave. I had left my job and my country seven years before this after becoming a reactionary against bad morals, ethics, corruption etc.( needless to say I was never promoted thanks to the IRA but unions such as OWTU after the Weeks era was a complete waste of time – I was one of the first qualified engineers that was forced to join a union by our government whose only interest was to keep inflation down and keep whites and the well to do with false papers as our bosses) as my upbringing and that of my siblings and parents were dead set against improper standards. Of course we learn that this North America is the very place we learn all the “shit” from. This is my sad feelings that stayed with me over the years. From our rich French – Catholic backgrounds back in the 50s and 60s we were a very good people even after Independence but after this (ALL HELL BROKE LOOOSE)these North people were just a set of greedy bastards that just did not care what scams they brought to our holy lands. It was Eldorado all over again for them…..take, take, take and destroy to hide their tracks. THE DRUGS ARE THEIR WANTS. AND Yes the oil and gas developments were for them alone. It was cheap gas, cheap labour, cheap oil, jobs for the boys, cheap equipment, cheap systems , the people who came after the 60s were bums from the North….and of course we became the slaves once more…..with nothing to gain but a few dollars to mind our children. Yes Tringen 11 was built with an obsolete DCS system Shah. THE NGC NATURAL GAS SYSTEM WAS ILL CONCEIVED BY PNM OPERATIVES WHO DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT WAS NEEDED IN THE DESIGN. PHEONIX PARK GAS PROCESSORS WAS A DESIGN TO COVER THEIR ARSES IN THIS REGARD. But we still suffer an electricity system unguarded outage that runs on natural gas as its main fuel and shutdowns because the heavy hydrocarbon liquids choke up the system at times and shut the plants down at will. So these North Most crooks threaten the government to keep the plants operating with cheap gas. They MUST MAKE A HUGE PROFIT AT OuR EXPENSE. So Shah you honestly believe from the bottom of your heart that things will change. No Shah we are heading into a hell hole that we will hold our heads and bawl to come. Our kids will continue shooting our kids just like in the days of the wild west. Today my grandchild faces circumstances there, that as a young boy her age I never dream to know as the skeletons are coming out of the closets today in droves. Children walk into their parents room and see raw sex taking place and told to leave the room. Kids are supervising babies as the parents work two and three jobs. The government is of no help to the present day family challenges. In fact they over tax you and expect you to hold two and three jobs to keep abreast with the cost of living while they become a dole out government run society (to buy votes to keep themselves in power). Just imagine you have to become part of a lottery system to get a house. I remember the days of waapee and sweep stake when it was said very clearly then that gambling was the worse of all vices ( people would lose their wife over a poker table then ). The more things change the more they remain the same. Distraction is the order of the day. Shah you are NOT too much older than me. You must still remember your mutiny days. I know one of the three of you quite well (THE SMART MAN ONE). Nevertheless I know the principles you fought against. Everyday now I open up on T&T daily news and I learn that each state enterprise, every state institution, every government ministry have endless unresolved corrupt acts of significant magnitudes taking place. And this government boast about accomplishments. WOW THE LIES ARE NEVER ENDING. Has anything really changed in T&T? Young or old faces from the time they come into the public eye some of us know where they are coming from and none stands up to the tests of time. This is the society we are breathing. I tell my wife and children all the time when we were afraid of the guava whip we became brain dead some of us….that nothing has changed. When we failed COMMON ENTRANCE that was it for most of us. Fear governed us and kept us enslaved in a different way. But the point is our progress in life was prevented and we were labelled. Then came the days at college when teacher were not teachers but DIVIDE AND RULE SPECIALISTS. And if dad could not afford extra lessons we were doomed to failure. Few of us back then would go to shop in a grocery like Massey Stores or HiLo. Instead we would go to the nearby parlour or vegetable store or even the market to shop for much cheaper food stuffs or local foods. Of course the indo population were allowed to coin off of us then. And we ate also what we planted. We lived on little but we lived a healthier life. I was hardly ever sick. Doctors came around once in a blue moon and they did not ask for all the money those want today. In each community there was community police that kept the area crime free. The difference then was that fear in mind limited your progress in life. But some argue that is still so today. More so now they simply discriminate you behind closed doors. Of course black power and groups like the Jeffers boys fought for real change and got small change. And silence is golden as the PP government knows only too well. But back then we knew about the incest cases and Mano B and Boysee Singh and Telma Hayes cases. Yes the crime was kept from us. And when they did not want us roaming certain high crime areas they would tell us the stories of Marabuntas etc. And yes we could not go into the “white” areas like Glencoe riding our bikes. But we know that has not changed. The Whites, Syrians, Foreigners and some Indians own almost everything and to keep you out there are the ALL INCLUSIVES or the all exclusives as we would say. But Shah some of us believe that God will bring us through all the times, good or bad. We remain his blessed people BIG TIME.

  • Jerry C. Hussain

    Shah – they will get you bazoodeed even more today, my friend just like you did yesteryear in 1970….today they say “played”. But things never changed just the conditions and who is to say who will win. Just like the 70s the bright young ones are excluded from the decisions and they are affected the most from these ruthless decisions. Most dictators want a police state. In our case the powers want to prove to us the minorities, the second class, the mixed breeds etc. that the police service is a failed system that need extraordinary massive changes when it is their hopeless greed filled decisions that need to be erased. I do not need a mortgage on a house or a car neither do I need to dine at the best restaurant town has to offer or do I need to wear the most expensive clothes. I am a senior citizen that has been robbed over the years from what is due to me. The banks, insurance, legal systems have all failed us over the years. The corrupt needs to exposed. You, Shah is a leader trained thus and you need to continually expose the wrongs and those decision maker who only work to eat a food. We need to educate the wider population to their wicked plans to push us all back to wall. The foreigners are their over lords running the show big time.

  • Let’s share in a brew of nostalgia because in itself is a healer, Shah. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBgxiY5NK2c
    How long are we going to sing the same mantras when we know to ourselves that whether young or old we still maintain ‘do as I say but don’t do as I do’. Sorry to burst your bubble guys but I believe the white collar crimes do have a history of it’s own and whether you like it or not corruption, nepotism and being a ‘yes man’ is here to stay. That goes for every political party in T&T with the exception of NJAC. Just a while ago on CNN I saw Jebb Bush denouncing the mistake made by the US going into Iraq, kill so many people and now saying that it is a mistake! Wow! If the US is referred to as the oldest Constitution democracy and world leaders, Well………….. ?

  • Yoruba Israelite

    “If you sit in a government (or opposition) that reeks of these negatives and you fail to speak out against them, then you are as guilty as the perpetrators.”

    Quite correct, and I agree.

    But it is important also to note that this applies also to the tribe as a whole, not only to party members.

    It is a biblical principle. If a king does evil, then those of the tribe who did not speak out against the evil, are condemned along with the king when God hands down judgment.

    “And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.” 1 Kings 14:16.

    Those who are afraid of being labeled “neemakharam” should take note. Loyalty must be alloyed with principle. True loyalty must require adherence, first, to that which is Divine Dictate. Loyalty to party and tribe must come a distant second, and only when not in conflict with the first.

    Relatedly, any government dedicated to Hindutva, or any other kind of tribal supremacy, must necessarily be in violation of its oath of office under our present constitutional arrangements. For a government in this land is sworn to carry out its mandate without “fear or *favour*”. Hindutva requires the opposite: discrimination in favour of one’s own.

    This is well to remember whenever it is suggested that there is a moral equivalence between the two dominant parties in their respective tribalism.

    Shalom.

    “31 If any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house:

    32 Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness” 1 Kings 8.

    • “For a government in this land is sworn to carry out its mandate without “fear or *favour*”. Hindutva requires the opposite: discrimination in favour of one’s own.”

      Seems to me you are only reflecting what the PNM did in TNT as a matter of historical record. It is historical fact that the PNM hired 80% of the civil service to party card holders, that housing went only to PNM supporters, that promotion only went to PNM party members. I remember in schools PNM party supporters alone were selected for upgrades and training some of them sent overseas for further education. I remember one Indian teacher protested and to keep him quiet they selected him, the others did not bother. If anyone knows about racism it is the PNM.
      One of my aunt went for government housing and was told “these houses are not for you people” Another was told with that name you will not get a job here. When my parent went to the government offices they were told by your people yuh dam racist to come back tomorrow.

      The PNM brought in over 52,000 islanders gave them ID cards and told them to vote PNM. These islanders were given jobs in the state own oil company. I know one Vincentian lady who told me her brother had a big job in the oil company. The PNM secret $50 million scholarship program was for their kind only.

      The PNM only selected 4 Indians as Ministers in their government. Take a careful look at the Partnership yuh racist and check how many non-Indians are there before you accuse the partnership of racism. Yoruba you are deceived by your ethnocentric world view. Your Hinduvta concept speaks of wicked and evil type of reasoning perpetuated by Satan who is good at quoting Scripture most of it out of
      context. The honorable Prime Minister is concerned about all citizens she is a true Trini. Get use to it she will be there for another term…. And stop trying to perpetuate your racist ideas here.

      • Yoruba Israelite

        Obviously I cannot argue with you over anecdotes known only to yourself.

        Hindutva, as political philosophy, is another matter. It is objected to and rejected by many, even in India, and by many Hindus.

        Hindutva might possibly be justifiable in India, but nowhere else.

        That I condemn Hindutva for my country, Trinidad and Tobago, and that I highlight the hypocrisy of it relative to the oath that office holders must take, is in no way to advance any other philosophy of tribal supremacy.

        I do not belong to the PNM, or any other party. Therefore, I am under no obligation to defend any of its excesses.

        Nevertheless, I challenge you to show me, where it is stated, _*as a matter of political philosophy*_, that the PNM advances a doctrine of tribal supremacy. Quite the opposite, the PNM is a “national”, not a tribal movement. It gave us “together we aspire, together we achieve”, and “here ev’ry creed and race find an equal place”, and other such formulations. It is because of that PNM gift to the nation that T&T has been relatively free of sectarian strife.

        I can accept that some of its policies may take cognizance of ethnic or demographic criteria. One could certainly make a case, that in order to correct certain historic wrongs or imbalances, it is necessary to be less than race-blind in the formulation and advancement of certain policies, e.g. pertaining to “young black males” in the E-W corridor. That is merely common-sense.

        That, however, is not the same as advancing a systematic agenda of tribal supremacy, such as is the case with Hindutva and apan-jhat.

        I will give one dominating example: PNM’s education policy. In the year of independence, 1962, secondary education was a privilege of the elites. By 1963, free secondary education was made available to all, certainly regardless of race, and subject only to a non-discriminatory Common Entrance examination. As a beneficiary, I can testify that the “elite” school I attended was well mixed ethnically. I don’t think any Hindu could honestly claim to have been discriminated against by PNM education policy.

        Compare that with Sat’s declared apan-jhat education policy. Even one of his own school principals — a Ms. Nanga if memory serves — was nauseated by it.

        As to the claimed ethnic inclusiveness you cite for your tribal party formation, it is mere window dressing. It is a necessary hypocrisy because a naked Hindutva policy is too repulsive a creature to look upon, and so it must be dressed up to look like other than what it is.

        The proof that such dressing up is in fact resorted to was there for all to see when that fellow on the Chaguaramas Development Authority made the statement on a private Facebook channel of the need to use “gullible niggers (sic)” as a front for the wicked and invidious Hindutva policy of land-grab in the Chaguaramas area. In technocrat-speak, they are “monetizing” the area. Uh huh. I bet.

        So please don’t try to justify Hindutva by citing the many dupes, and the many merely venal people, of diverse ethnicities, that Hindutva might bribe or entice into its ranks. They are what another set of tribal supremacists –foolishly on what they think is their way to running a One-World Government– call “useful idiots”.

        As the true Israelites of the Bible, we the “Negro”, are a people largely “without guile”, and so are particularly gullible. We see the sheep’s clothing, we do not see the wolf.

        It is an interesting irony that had the PNM, under Eric Williams, followed the example of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, and made the position of the “Negro” unassailable, as Lee did for his ethnic Chinese brethren in Singapore, this country might have done far far better than it has, even for the Indo.

        Scripture is not silent on such arrangements. Time, and the necessary head of steam, permitting, I might return to give an exegesis.

        There shall no hypocrite enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. One therefore must risk being perceived as racist or worse when one speaks frankly on the matters that divide this country. I do so now without fear, and believe it or not, without favour. The Judgement, and Redemption, both, are right around the corner. Therefore, I cannot do less.

        Shalom.

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