Tag Archives: Raffique Shah

Dr Rowley’s war fatigue

By Raffique Shah
October 11, 2021

Raffique ShahWhen generations ahead of us evolve many years hence, and scientists in their labs or students in their classrooms look back at us, at the problems we faced and how we addressed them, I fear they won’t be charitable in their evaluations of their ancestors of Trinidad and Tobago. I can see them spending long hours in laboratories analyzing fossilized brains and associated DNA particles and still being stumped by our quantum leaps in science, but simultaneously, and incomprehensibly, we could not solve simple problems such as stimulating productivity among a few million people, or use pre-school-level math to track and capture a few thousand thieves who robbed us blindly, siphoning large sums of public money and stashing it in their private acquisitions or bank accounts, and escape prosecution and punishment in their lifetimes, as well as their heirs and successors’ who enjoyed opulence while the salt of the earth and their wretched offspring sucked salt, quite literally.
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The Only Solution

By Raffique Shah
October 04, 2021

Raffique ShahI am writing this column before Finance Minister Colm Imbert delivers his Budget speech and announces measures that government intends to employ to finance its operations over the 2021-2022 fiscal year. What I write here is not new. Other commentators, economists, politicians and informed citizens will have said or written scholarly critiques of the economy, offloaded tonnes of advice and mountains of metrics on the minister.
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Giant leap by a Black man

By Raffique Shah
September 27, 2021

Raffique ShahLast Sunday, dealing with the potential I saw in many of the young players who competed in the recently-concluded CPL T-20 cricket tournament, I introduced the issue of race in sports as highlighted by several Black American athletes who used the stage of the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 to confront racism head-on. I cited the iconic photograph of sprinters and 200-metres medallists Tommie Smith, who won the event in a new world record of 19.83 seconds, Australian Peter Norman who was second in 20.00, and John Carlos, who was third, also in 20.00. The fourth finisher was Trinidad & Tobago’s Edwin Roberts, who clocked 20.30.
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Healing through sports

By Raffique Shah
September 20, 2021

Raffique ShahI was hooked to the Caribbean Premier League cricket tournament over the past two weeks, from the opening match between the Trinbago Knight Riders and the Guyana Amazon Warriors to the thriller-of-a-final in Warner Park between the host’s St Kitts-Nevis Patriots and the St Lucia Kings, that went down to a last ball decider. As is normal for me when I feast on sports, I look beyond the participants and their performances. In CPL cricket, I find not just entertainment and scintillating skills, but more importantly, from my perspective, a panorama of Caribbean life that can teach Caribbean societies lessons in race relations and class compression.
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Education for those who want it

By Raffique Shah
September 13, 2021

Raffique ShahFor the second time in as many months I ask a question that is pertinent to this country’s future path, one that we need to answer because it is critical to everything else we do as we forge a road to recovery in the aftermath of the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and the near-collapse of the national economy. It is this: are we satisfied with our education system which, give or take a tweak here, a turn there, has remained a hugely expensive relic of colonialism that refuses to die 60 years after independence.
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Catapult, club and a bullpistle

By Raffique Shah
September o4, 2021

Raffique ShahNo state of emergency, lift the curfew and let’s get back to normal. We are fed up with Covid-19, 20 or whatever edition or variant is stalking us. No more. Time to show this beast just what Trinis are capable of. We will beat him to death with ‘wining’ and ‘jamming’, drinking puncheon rum. Release the Trini beast, Mr Prime Minister, and we shall show the world how to fight Covid, David, any id.
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T&T at 59: Jean or Dinah?

By Raffique Shah
August 30, 2021

Raffique ShahIf I were asked to put a human face to a new portrait of Trinidad and Tobago at age 59, I would sketch a decrepit Jean or Dinah, aged beyond her actual years, scowling and regretting her wasted years, waiting to die at the feet of an ungrateful people.

I am not happy conjuring such a sorry image of my native land at a point in its history when it should be bubbling with life, oozing confidence and full of energy befitting a nation that has had a good run, whatever obstacles it may have encountered after it became an independent nation on August 31, 1962.
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Surprise us, Mullahs

By Raffique Shah
August 23, 2021

Raffique ShahIf there was anything shocking about what happened in Afghanistan last weekend, it was the millions of people who were surprised by the speed at which the Afghan regime collapsed, the military imploded and the Taliban swiftly moved in to declare itself the new government.

BBC journalists referencing Saigon way back on May 1, 1975, when the last Americans who were evacuated from a war that never should have been, reversed on board the aircraft, kicking away desperate Vietnamese who had worked for the US, and who wanted to escape before General Giap’s army took control of the country. “Experts” spoke of the colossal waste of US resources in pursuing yet another ‘mission impossible’ in a country and among a people who will never be tamed, not by Western standards anyway.
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Encounter with The Maestro

By Raffique Shah
August 16, 2021

Raffique ShahI was dreaming of the din that has developed over vaccination—to vaccinate or not?—which of the vaccines is acceptable, which is not?—an unholy row that is international in its reach, with the Internet offering a global platform to everyone who must have his say—when an apparition of Cecil Hume, stage name The Maestro, blotted out everything else, crooning in his high-pitched voice the near-comical lyrics of his masterful calypso, ‘Mr Trinidad’.
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Sports overlords must be made to account

By Raffique Shah
August 08, 2021

Raffique ShahIf you think you cannot possibly get any angrier over the state of sports in the country, what with the annihilation of Team TTO at the Tokyo Olympics, our cricket teams performing way below what is expected of them, and our once-proud football team booted out of World Cup 2026 by some miniscule islands, then read the local football legend’s recently published Everald Gally Cummings, The Autobiography.
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