It is now compulsory that tribal politics aside, the capital of T&T must be removed in the medium term from its present earthquake- susceptible location in POS to one that is less vulnerable to the damaging effects of a seven and more seismic event that is nearer and less deeper than last Tuesday’s traumatic wake-up call.
During my only visit to India, which I made in 1983, I found myself subconsciously looking everywhere for human faeces. Wherever I went, from the modern quarter of New Delhi where I stayed in what was probably a four-star hotel that overlooked manicured lawns and streets swept clean every day, to the slums that sat like festering sores next to the opulence of Bollywood in what was then Bombay, I kept my eyes peeled, looking for excrement.
Now, this might sound strange to the average person, especially since I was someone of Indian descent who was visiting the land of my ancestors for the first and only time. There is so much to see in that vast sub-continent—ancient historical sites (I did tour the Ajanta caves), the Taj Mahal (which I did not see) and other relics, Mahatma Gandhi’s artifacts and much, much more. Continue reading Recognising the writing, not the writer→
Reporting the world and its past, the past as a wound, the present as loss, has been Naipaul’s dedication and business, a sort of unillusioned mourning” (Frank Kermode, London Review of Books, 4 May 1989).
It was a Saturday evening in the fall of 1988. I had just arrived at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and was having dinner with a colleague when my nephew shouted from the first-floor bedroom: “Uncle Selwyn, Mr. Naipaul on the phone.” You could have heard a pin drop. Everyone became silent.
A MASSIVE earthquake, magnitude 6.8, yesterday rocked TT, sending the country’s 1.4 million citizens into a tailspin and damaging several buildings in and around Port of Spain, and other parts of the country.
The earthquake, believed to be the largest ever in the country’s history, was reportedly felt in several other Caribbean islands, including Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as Guyana and neighbouring Venezuela. Continue reading Earthquake rocks T&T→
Fitzgerald Hinds made several fundamental errors in judgment that could have turned fatal when he ventured into the flooded Beetham Gardens last week Monday.
The first was to have gone there as the Member of Parliament for the area when there was nothing he could have done for residents whose homes were flooded out, except perhaps commiserate with them. I don’t understand why politicians believe their presence in such situations is obligatory. What the victims require is relief as far as that is practical, which means attention from the relevant regional corporations and disaster-management agencies. Continue reading Hinds should have stood his ground→
As I watched the assault on the Member of Parliament for Laventille West and the Local Government Councillor for the area by their constituents on August 14, 2018, I was saddened by the knowledge that what was playing out was a culmination of long unaddressed social and political factors that none of the actors, on either side, would acknowledge long enough to address. Let me be categorical in my condemnation of the actions of some residents of Beetham Gardens towards their Member of Parliament and Local Government Councillor. These men, Minister Fitzgerald Hinds and Councillor Akil Audain, represented the entire political class, and those chasing them represented the underclass created and sustained, in part, by the political class. Continue reading Poor People Fed Up→
I find that there is a disturbing dysfunctional disconnect between what the PM Rowley said initially in cheap and embarrassing defence of the Sari Skit, the several reasons for his retraction/backing down of those ill -thought out statements, his conditional but confusing apology directed to a deliberately selective audience/aggrieved party and his continuation of his diatribe on associated matters against so-called saboteurs. Continue reading Selective Apology from PM Rowley on Sari Skit→
“If being afflicted with asthma [as Naipaul was as a child] shaped personality and character, then, perhaps it made him [Naipaul] a wounded animal. —Savi Naipaul Akal”
On May 13, 1979, Irving Howe reviewed V. S. Naipaul’s A Bend in the River in the New York Times. Although Howe praised the novel effusively, he knew little about the man or the society that produced such a talented writer.
On June 24, 1979, Michael Thelwell responded to Shiva and Vidia’s comments about Africa and asked the Times: “Had the brothers Naipaul not existed, would you have had to invent them? One suspects so. For how else would it have been possible for little brother Shiva to pontificate in your columns that the African soul is a blank slate on which anything can be written, onto which any fantasy can be transposed.… Continue reading A Wounded Animal→
Poor people fed up to how yuh system set up
Well, everyday the ghetto youths dead up
Mi ask the leader, him a di arranger
Fi mek poor people surround by danger
Fly and the roach and giant mosquito
Sewage water whey fill with bacteria
Unno ever take a look down inna di Riverton area
Bactu, and Seaview, Waterhouse, Kentire
Long time the MP him nuh come near yah
And the other one whho claims sey she a counsellor
—Bounty Killa: Poor People Fed Up
The words by Bounty Killa, also known as the ‘poor people’s governor’ is relevant to every single Caribbean country, where the type of leadership after independence has failed to be sensitive to the experiences of those who have most been disadvantaged by social structures. So when I saw Beetham residents dousing MP Fitzgerald Hinds and councillor Akil Audain with dirty flood water and chasing them from the area, this was the first song that came to mind. Continue reading Floodwaters, People Power and the Legacy of Misdevelopment→