Tag Archives: Raffique Shah

We Must Control Our Destiny

By Raffique Shah
November 30, 2020

Raffique ShahIf there is not now on our statute books a law that empowers us to deny entry into Trinidad and Tobago to any alien, man woman or child, more so persons seeking to enter our territory illegally, then Government must move post-haste to rectify such anomaly that foreigners are using to breach our borders. Further, if some government in the past compromised this inalienable right that every sovereign state in the world must surely enjoy by signing on to some nebulous convention that purports to promote human rights, then unshackle us, damn it if we are deemed inhumane, sub-human or maybe animals.
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Focus on T&T, not Trump

By Raffique Shah
November 23, 2020

Raffique Shah“…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights…whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers…”

Like Samuel Johnson’s proverbial scoundrel who seeks refuge in patriotism, I fall back on the American declaration of independence, especially its “unalienable rights”, and in particular the right, nay, the civic duty it imposes on citizens, to rebel with force to remove a government that is trampling their rights.
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Beware Trumpism

By Raffique Shah
November 18, 2020

Raffique ShahDonald Trump seems prepared to plunge the United States of America into civil war if that becomes his only option as he clings to the office of President, refusing to acknowledge that he lost the presidential election to Joseph Biden. The world looks on with much foreboding as this real-life tragi-comedy plays before an audience of billions of people.

Trump refuses to recognise the official counting of votes that are presided over by state governors and their staff, many of whom belong to his Republican party. In so doing, he is showing contempt for the state institutions that he, as president, oversees. And he ignores the political and social mores of Washington that hinge on the loser graciously bowing out of office to allow for a smooth transition of power.
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Who will lock up the President?

By Raffique Shah
November 10, 2020

Raffique ShahIt was a critical juncture in the history of the United States of America, when its outgoing president, having lied his way to sitting in a position of close-to-supreme power back in 2016, was poised to steal the keys to the Oval office for the second time, in plain view of hundreds of millions of Americans who had just exercised their right to elect a president and other high government officials, a momentous occasion that the rest of the world monitored with a mixture of disbelief and trepidation.
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Now Dasheen, Callaloo, stir interest

By Raffique Shah
November 04, 2020

Raffique ShahA few weeks ago, in this space, and not for the first time, I made a case for stimulating the production of local foods as a means of reducing our dependence on foreign foods, and in particular, to chip away at the staggering TTD $5 billion per year in foreign exchange that we must find to pay for just about everything we eat and drink. However, I made the mistake of using the headline “Cocoa, Cassava to the rescue”. I was almost laughed out of town by many of my friends and some of my detractors, who chorused: Shah, yuh want to kill we with cassava!
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Of conformity and stupidity

By Raffique Shah
October 27, 2020

Raffique ShahAt age 74, and stricken with two “co-morbidities” as members of the medical profession would describe Parkinson’s Disease and asthma, I know that if ever I contracted the Covid-19 virus, odds are that it could be a fatal affliction, that I’d likely die during such encounter. Both conditions compromise the body’s immune system. There is no cure for PD, and asthma attacks the respiratory tracts. Hence if I value my life, I need to exercise extreme caution, adhere to the Covid-19 protocols, and until a vaccine is available or treatments are developed to eliminate the virus’ devastating impact on human beings, I should take cover, preferably in a “bubble”, and stay safe.
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Cocoa, Cassava to the rescue

By Raffique Shah
October 13, 2020

Raffique ShahFor the first time in many years, food security and food production got some attention by a government in a budget presentation. This happened only because the Covid-19 crisis exposed the country’s vulnerability, its dependence on imports for almost everything we consume, especially food for basic sustenance. For decades, voices in the wilderness have cried out for the powers-that-be and consumers to understand the plight of a nation that was not producing much of its food, how it could be driven to its knees in the face of some global crisis. We didn’t think of a pandemic or plague then. We thought of war. But Covid-19 altered everything so fundamentally, we must be thankful to it as much as we are fearful of its deadly consequences.
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Periscope on Budget

By Raffique Shah
October 05 2020

Raffique ShahI am hopeful that Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s Budget 2021 will remain open to ideas that may come from ordinary citizens or professionals or anyone else even after he will have presented it to Parliament tomorrow. This is no ordinary Appropriation Bill. It is, or ought to be, an extraordinary document that contains the sum total of citizens’ prescriptions for rescuing and resuscitating an economy that has been battered and bruised by several governments over the past, say, forty years, and rendered semi-comatose by blows from the Covid-19 pandemic.
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An accidental MP

By Raffique Shah
September 29, 2020

Raffique ShahWhen I look back at it, my life that is, the many sharp, unpredictable turns I made that often intersected with the history of my country, I cannot help but feel fated to its destiny, inextricably linked to its history.

I ruminated on these occurrences over the past few days as the nation marked Republic Day, the 44th edition of what was a giant constitutional leap back in 1976. Interestingly, then, as this year, it was marked without the pomp and ceremony usually associated with such events. As I recall it, there was the swearing in of newly-elected members of the House of Representatives as well as senators, and maybe an address by Sir Ellis Clarke (I cannot remember), the first President of the Republic.
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Total disrespect

By Raffique Shah
September 22, 2020

Raffique ShahI do not believe that the Commissioner of Police, Captain Gary Griffith, is a foolish man. He may be egotistic, over-sensitive, loquacious, combative. But foolish? No. I make this assessment of him purely by watching him from a distance, listening to his pronouncements on people from every strata of the society whom he perceives as being his critics.

Indeed, I write this column knowing that he will brand me a notorious mutineer, a disgrace to the uniform I once wore and blah, blah, blah. I am not as sensitive as he is, so I simply shrug off such epithets as par for this columnist’s course, a reality I have lived with for many years.
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