Party First; Constitution Out!
Photo : Adolf Hitler
T&T is in crisis. Personal benefits and gains are placed above constitution and order. Party loyalty overrides national interest. The road march is “PNM till ah dead” and there is always the Winfred James to raise the adrenalin with cries of ‘Calcutta ship coming.’
A country cannot run by the whims and fancies of a few. Should that be allowed in this country-and it is - we are going to descend into abyss of social unrest and anarchy - and we are already there.
Our Constitution is not sacrosanct. It is an instrument to serve the welfare of the people and should any one wish to challenge the integrity of the law, then the avenues of the courts shall always be available for redress. However, we are today witnessing that the integrity of a judge can be challenged not in the courts but in social media. This is being demonstrated by the attack on the integrity of Justice Frank Seepersad via social media. His upholding of the submissions of Devant Maharaj has labelled him a “UNC judge” by party loyalists.
What is more frightening is that those ramblings are given prominence in the mainstream media. More so, media houses are now selective in their reporting of the news. Today there is open politicking by the media not only in its contents but also in its tone. More sinister is the opened bias of a few columnists who nakedly support their party’s “wrong doing” without an iota of remorse or shame.
Academics are not fired when they jump in defence of their party. They are given free rein to “wash their mouths” on judges whose rulings are not in their favour. I wonder what would have happened if a lecturer at the St Augustine Campus had come out against the PNM. Every Tom, Dick and Cudjoe would have been calling for her head. But no, this is PNM country where the supporters of the PNM are allowed to do as they wish. When the PNM protest that is standing up for social justice; when UNC protests that is lawlessness. It is a clear case of one rule for the PNM and another for the UNC. Is that not so Police Commissioner?
Adolf Hitler of Germany could not have persecuted the Jews without the co-operation of the German people. Many Nazis were well aware of the wrongs they were doing but chose to go along for personal benefits and to feed their sadistic minds. Germans would tell their Jewish neigbours that “we are going to take care of your properties when you are not here.”
But the deeper issue in Nazi Germany was the underlying hatred of the Jews. Apart from the label “Christ killer” they had little reason to dislike the Jew. But envy can grow a long way. When your competitor is an Indian or a Jew, life can be very alarming and unsettling for you and this is the current “humbug” in this society. Why a people who once held the lowest work in the sugar cane industry, ate with their hands and use water after visiting the toilet must now be competing for equality with us?
In neighbouring Guyana the discrimination against the Indian population is not being done without the co-operation of the AFC led by Moses Nagamootoo who feels that the more the Opposition is persecuted the more secured he would be in the politics. A similar attitude is prevailing in this country where many would harp on the perceived corruption of the past government while ignoring the wrong of the present. It is not uncommon to hear Devant Maharaj and Fuad Khan vilified and nothing said of the wrongs of current Cabinet ministers.
Our Chief Justice is not going to do the honourable thing and resign. It is not that the Chief Justice does not have moral integrity but more so, that he is being supported by the “beneficiaries” of the largesse of the State. The vote of no confidence against him by the Law Association appears to mean very little to him. In his world with his friends, the anger and disgust of the people do not reach him.
The big question that needs to be asked is: Who is protecting the CJ? Is he now surviving in office at the mercy of the Executive?
But I am not going to despair because I have faith in the moral and spiritual integrity. It is not the politicians that “rules here.” It is our cherished values that would save us from the galloping dictatorship that is looming over this fair land that our forefathers have toiled and developed. Nevertheless, any victory outside the moral integrity of the universe would very quickly come to an end.