Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

Conduct Unbecoming

By Raffique Shah
July 26, 2014

Raffique ShahWhen elephants fight, the grass gets trampled, says the African proverb. To paraphrase this, when two generals, one captain-turned-minister, and the acting Commissioner of Police lock horns over the contentious issue of soldiers patrolling the streets, a lowly ex-lieutenant should stay far from the heavyweight battle.
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All hands stained with blood

By Raffique Shah
July 20, 2014

Raffique ShahNot surprisingly, they are all pointing “holier than thou” fingers at each other following the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that killed close to 300 innocent people.

The Ukrainian government accuses pro-Russian separatists in the area where the tragedy occurred of firing a Russia-supplied missile that brought the passenger plane down. America and much of Europe concur, with blood-curdling calls for the “terrorists” to be brought to justice.
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Thriving off the ghettos

By Raffique Shah
July 13, 2014

Raffique ShahUpon rereading my column last Sunday, I thought I had gone overboard in my effusive endorsement of the army’s direct intervention in the crime “hot spots” of east Port of Spain and neighbouring districts. I realised that I had written in anger, which is never a good idea. So I apologise to readers who might have been alarmed by what seemed to be a call to wipe out gun-toting criminals.
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Army backlash was predictable

By Raffique Shah
July 06, 2014

Raffique ShahIt was only a matter of time before soldiers decided to intervene directly to protect their own, to exact justice if not revenge, against two-bit criminals who dare to attack, to murder, their comrades.

Civil society can shout till it is hoarse about the illegality of the troops imposing a measure of martial law in what have become war zones, they cannot stop the backlash. A few weeks ago I warned the populace, especially the bad boys and their family and community support bases, of this happening.
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Sewer rat snarls

By Raffique Shah
June 29, 2014

Raffique ShahAt the risk of being branded a snarling sewer rat by Senator Camille Robinson-Regis, I return to the issue of pensions for parliamentarians. Following expressions of outrage from a broad cross section of the population, across partisan lines, over the pensions approved unanimously by members of the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister made a mild retreat.
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Heartless Parliamentarians

By Raffique Shah
June 22, 2014

Raffique ShahDisclosure: I am a parliamentary pensioner. I receive the princely sum of $3,000 a month.

In 1976, I was elected Member of Parliament for the Siparia constituency, and I served for five unremarkable years. When I look back at my life, my achievements, my contributions to country, I easily forget those five years.
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Architects of our own demise

By Raffique Shah
June 15, 2014

Raffique ShahI am writing this column knowing that it will not be read by the target audience—young, black and ‘er…unschooled men.

Few if any in this group read anything, least of all newspapers. If they pick up an Express, it would be to watch a photograph of some dead “bredren”, felled by bullets from police or criminal, same difference, and to wonder if they, upon meeting a similar fate, would make a pretty corpse.
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Dance Macabre in the COP

By Raffique Shah
June 08, 2014

Raffique ShahI suppose the Congress of the People (COP), born a robust, bouncing baby in 2007, died of greed rather than malnutrition in the aftermath of the 2010 general elections, so there is little to mourn today as its corpse twitches in delayed rigor mortis, signs of life that are really spasms of death.

How else must one interpret the feast of vultures we are witnessing today, a kind of dance macabre in which those who suffocated the healthy infant in the ample but noxious bosom of big-mama United National Congress (UNC), pretend to be architects of the party’s afterlife?
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Fanning the race flames

By Raffique Shah
June 01, 2014

Raffique ShahThe persons who orchestrated the racist placards that triggered a furore that lingers long after the protest-dust has settled do not belong to any “lunatic fringe”, as some politicians suggest.

They are perfectly sane, albeit devilishly motivated in their evil designs. Anyone with a modicum of sense could discern that the pro-Rowley placards were intended to have the extreme opposite effect—cast the PNM leader as a bigot, as being anti-Indian to the extent that he would display his venom openly, outside Parliament to boot.
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Whither India?

By Raffique Shah
May 25, 2014

Raffique ShahWith Narendra Modi taking office as Prime Minister of India following a convincing victory in the month-long general elections, the world’s largest parliamentary democracy, India, stands at critical crossroads.

The close to 200 million voters who propelled the controversial Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power comprise in the main Hindu nationalists who see the country as Hindu first, anything else afterwards. But they were not the decisive elements that drove the Indian National Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty out of power in a humiliating rout.
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