Tag Archives: Raffique Shah

Pass the teacup

By Raffique Shah
April 12, 2021

Raffique ShahThere must be an ultra-secret super-Lotto somewhere in the universe, where only the super-wealthy and governments-by-vaps play for super-stakes—you know, jackpots paid in gazillions, in currencies-of-choice, and in cash, s’il vous plait. Really, there must be. Why else would Finance Minister Colm Imbert and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley strut around a country that looks like an abandoned steam locomotive whose era has gone, they looking cooler than the proverbial cucumber, seemingly without care or worry, while lesser mortals like your humble scribe worry to no end over the near-evaporation of foreign exchange, the unavailability of any good or service that we can sell in large enough volumes that will yield the billions of US dollars we require for our sustenance?
Continue reading Pass the teacup

Now’s not the time to misbehave

By Raffique Shah
April 05, 2021

Raffique ShahI suppose it had to come to this—an explosion of Covid-19 cases just when we thought we could see a ray of sunshine at the end of a year-long dark tunnel we’ve cautiously navigated, when the first tranche of vaccines had arrived, launching Trinidad and Tobago into the immunisation phase of the war against this deadly virus.

It’s not as if the surge in confirmed cases ambushed us. We were warned by the medical team that has thus far efficiently conducted the war against Covid-19, that should we continue to breach the simple safety practices that have worked for us, hence expose ourselves to regression, we would encounter a nasty backlash. But there are some among us who are plain “harden”, who must misbehave to look macho.
Continue reading Now’s not the time to misbehave

Right, wrong, but spot on

By Raffique Shah
March 29, 2021

Raffique ShahLast week, dealing with the new vaccines that are unfolded almost daily to fight the Covid19 pandemic, I unfairly targeted the World Health Organisation and the Pan American Health Organisation as having betrayed countries like Trinidad and Tobago that have adhered to the rules of engagement, quietly awaiting their turns to the first allocations of whatever brand of the vaccine the global and regional health organisations have secured.
Continue reading Right, wrong, but spot on

Betrayed by PAHO, WHO?

By Raffique Shah
March 22, 2021

Raffique ShahIt took a global pandemic that has, in one short year, claimed 2.7 million lives, infected 123 million people in 221 countries, to expose man for what he really is—a beast in human form.

For all his posturing on being civilised, on cooperation in the battle against the Covid-19 virus through agencies such as the World Health Organisation and the United Nations, when several vaccines were finally developed, tried and approved, the wealthiest, most powerful nations simply trampled on the poor, grabbed all they could without shame, pity or any kind of emotion that is supposed to distinguish man from beast.
Continue reading Betrayed by PAHO, WHO?

A Search for Qadir

By Raffique Shah
March 15, 2021

Raffique ShahLast Sunday, I marked my 75th year on this earth. It was a milestone of sorts, but no great achievement at a time when many people go way past that number, and remain very healthy and fit into their 80s, all praise to them.

My birthday was marred by the mal-effects of crippling, Parkinson’s Disease that I’ve had to cope with since I was 66. Worse than that, the day before, my extended family was struck numb by news that one of my nephews, Qadir, had drowned off Paria bay, and his body had not been recovered. Sadness overwhelmed us, as it always does when someone as young as he was, thirty, and full of life, had met such an abrupt end to what was a promising life.
Continue reading A Search for Qadir

Remove these shackles

By Raffique Shah
March 08, 2021

Raffique ShahIf a brush with death is said to prompt man to reflect more deeply on life, then the Covid-19 pandemic that swooped down on mankind last year, cutting a path of death and destruction such as we had never seen in our lifetime, has also triggered deep thinking on the social contracts that exist among governments and the governed, on how societies are structured to sustain inequality, and on altering such arrangements, replacing them with more equitable alternatives.
Continue reading Remove these shackles

We will survive

By Raffique Shah
March 01, 2021

Raffique ShahI cannot claim to have conducted any scientific survey by interviewing samples of the population the way political pollsters do, but I feel certain if I did, I would find that as many as seven out of every ten adults believe that ‘Trinidad and Tobago gone through’, in the broadest sense of that colloquial term.

Put in standard English, that implies that the economy has collapsed, institutions have imploded, law and order do not exist, poverty is of near-epidemic proportions, and every metric one can imagine shows a failed state on the brink of implosion.
Continue reading We will survive

‘Granny’ Luces: Making of an Icon

By Raffique Shah
february 22, 2021

Raffique Shah“There’s an old lady here…she says she wants to register to run the marathon…I don’t know what to do…can you come and sort this out?”

It was sometime in March 1984, and we were organising the second Mirror Marathon later (The Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon). We had successfully staged the inaugural race in April 1983, and were excited about the second edition. The response from would-be marathoners was enthusiastic. We expected to have more than 500 entrants, up from the 300 who had run last year’s race.
Continue reading ‘Granny’ Luces: Making of an Icon

Do not pollute protests with politics

By Raffique Shah
February 15, 2021

Raffique ShahI was wondering how many more candlelight vigils that seemed to be a genuine groundswell of public opinion on violent crimes against women would be staged in the name of abduction and murder victim Andrea Bharatt before two-by-two politicians sought to hijack what they would see as a mass movement they could ride for narrow self-interests, from photo-opportunities and media coverage to the prospect of political power.
Continue reading Do not pollute protests with politics

Be careful when you hunt rapists

By Raffique Shah
February 08, 2021

Raffique ShahTHE outrage expressed by many people over the most recent case of the abduction and murder of a young woman is understandable.

We cannot believe that there exist among us depraved people who are capable of committing atrocities, inflicting extreme violence on women with seemingly consummate ease and callous detachment. It’s as if they are cast in some science fiction horror movie, acting out their darkest obsessions and cruellest fantasies, except the victims are real live people who end up very dead, sometimes mutilated and tortured before they die.
Continue reading Be careful when you hunt rapists