Photo : Massive Gosein

I reject the deceitful political PR stunt pulled by the PNM and its supporter George Singh over the funding of the Chutney Soca Monarch. The alleged withdrawal of funding, the cancellation of CSM, the sudden U-turn by the government and the reinstatement of the CSM within the space of 24hrs is a classic case of politricks!

The lack of government funding for CSM was biased, wicked and spiteful. It was a political knee jerk reaction by Dr. Rowley to the fact that a humble Indian chutney artiste dared to sing a song that was viewed as critical of his leadership.

The explanation that Finance Minister Imbert had received wrong information about the extent of funding by NLCB is ridiculous, incredible and laughable. Mr. Imbert is the line minister with responsibility for NLCB. The NLCB board reports to the Ministry of Finance. It is therefore unthinkable that such an error could occur but highlights why the country’s economy in such a bad state. Was this really a case of right hand not knowing what left hand was doing? It seems as if while Rowley mudda could count, Imbert can’t.

This was political gamesmanship designed to victimize me because I am the only artiste to sing an anti-government song criticizing Dr. Rowley’s leadership since he became prime minister. It is clear that the government had a change of heart because of the public backlash over its attempt to silence and intimidate me. Public pressure forced Rowley to back-back and change his tune!

The recent release of new songs for the 2018 carnival season have exposed the hypocrisy of those who condemned my song. Apparently, they enjoy the uplifting lyrics of Shal Marshall’s “Take Jamm” with its sexually explicit video. None of them have a problem with him singing *“take jam in yuh mudda humm… bend over in yuh favourite position, take jam in yuh favourite position…, all in front yuh mudder, inside the gutter”.* Likewise, Ras Komanda can proudly sing *”Donald is the man for-Kim”.*

I have no quarrel with my fellow artistes. I support their right to sing. I have a problem with those who think they can oppress and silence my voice because I am a humble Indian chutney singer whilst they support the right of African artistes to exercise their poetic license as they see fit. I therefore call on TATT, MATT, George Singh, Vijay Ramlal, Pandita Indrani Rampersad and Israel Khan SC to indicate their position on these two songs. I anxiously await TATT’s letter of warning to broadcasters. Unless of course, it one law for Massive and another for Shal and Ras.