Massive Gosein responds to Mr. Israel Khan SC
Photo : Massive Gosein
REPLY TO ISRAEL KHAN SC
I will consider pulling my song “Rowley Mudda Count” and give up my professional income as an artiste if Mr. Israel Khan SC is prepared to withdraw his legal services as defence counsel for anyone charged with murder, kidnapping, rape, robbery and gang violence. I suspect such an exchange might actually do more good for the country in light of the crime situation and the bag of criminals Mr. Khan has robustly and successfully defended in our courts.
Every criminal who has walked free as a result of his legal expertise is a greater threat to the very national unity which he claims my song damages.
Some people have suddenly found their voice to condemn and criticize a stinging political calypso attacking a Prime Minister. This highlights the inequity and hypocritical double standards in our country. Calypso has been used to bash, denigrate and insult Indian leaders and the Indian community for decades without a murmur from these very persons. We were told to take it in stride because it was clever ‘picong’ and double entendre in calypso was all part of carnival.
- [x] When Amuser (Carlton Thomas) sang “Panday like Ato-Tea”, the PNM and Mr. Khan did not see it as a disrespect to the office of Prime Minister.
- [x] When Rootsman sang “Oma Account Big” no women’s group objected. Yet, if I sing the same about Sharon Rowley they will riot..
- [x] When Cro-Cro attacked Hulsie Bhaggan for protesting kidnapping by singing “If I had a truck, I woulda bounce down she mother...” the audience gleefully finished the song with the expletive. No one claimed he was inciting violence against women.
- [x] When others described UNC supporters as “lick bottom” Africans, it was not racist.
The list of nasty racist calypsoes that insulted and denigrated Indian leaders is endless. If someone dragged a mannequin of Sharon Rowley clad in red on stage and ridicule her in the worst possible manner or described her as a kitchen mechanic, there would be uproar and protest.
I have therefore used my calypso to prove a point - to expose the hypocritical double standards in our society where there are different strokes for different folks and Indians are expected to be the carnival bobolee.
Indians are fed up of being the butt of ridicule, insult and humiliation by PNM calypsonians who laugh all the way to the bank with tax dollars as prize money. Their boycott of calypso tents is a form of protest.
Is there some unwritten decree that says Rowley and his Family are immune from political ridicule and criticism while Panday, Kamla and Oma were fair game? If I praised kidnapping and encouraged bandits to kidnap the children of rich Africans as Cro-Cro did, would they sit and clap and laugh in delight?
Indians must not be asked to pretend that they accept these biased and one-sided attacks against their community as part of national culture. The anger and hurt that inspires the objection to my song would be legitimate if there was a similar understanding of our pain when we were the victims of worse attacks over the past 50 years. Mr. Khan never asked others to withdraw their nasty and unpatriotic songs so why me?
In the unrealistic stretch to find legitimate grounds for criticism, some have pointed to the “blackened” face of the female character in my video. Whilst I appreciate the history lesson, the props and characters used on stage by the likes of Cro-Cro and Sugar Aloes left nothing to the imagination. More significantly, I hope no one object when I start hosing down revelers on j’ouvert morning who blackened their faces and bodies with diesel and black mud. Apparently, they do not realize they are being racist and should be reminded that this is wrong.
My critics are in a minority. Support on social media is massive. I wish to thank professor Patrick Watson, Mr Phillip Alexander and blogger Samuel Stafford for defending my right to sing.
My calypso draws on the current of frustration, hardship and disgust the population feels for Dr. Rowley.. The chorus captivates what many are thinking and would like to say to Dr. Rowley if he showed up by their gate. I lay claim to my equal right as an artiste and refuse to be treated like a second class citizen where others seem to think they have more rights than I!