Say Good Bye to Politicians

Say Good Bye to Politicians

Photo : Bhoe Tewarie presents Senior Superintendent Inraj Balram with proposals to fight crime.

Crime is not a figment of Bhoe Tewarie’s imagination! It is a reality in Caroni Central. Thirty –five robberies and a dozen murders have been committed in the constituency between September 2017 and June 2018. The pain and hurt of families are too much to ignore. Not surprisingly, MP Bhoe Tewarie of Caroni Central responded to the cries of the people and took the initiative to organize and execute The  People’s March from Three Road Junction to Chaguanas, an estimated 7 miles (11km), on Labour Day (June 19).

Absent from the March were the Members of Parliament from the neighbouring constituencies: Chaguanas East, Chaguanas West, Couva North, Couva North or Caroni East. With crime a major social issue in the nation one would have expected all Members of Parliament demonstrating their concern by participating in such a march. Their absence from the People’s March concludes that ‘crime is a Caroni Central issue and let Bhoe Tewarie handle it!’ Yes! Crime is an issue in Caroni Central and Bhoe Tewarie is dealing with it!

Banwari Rmalakhan was in the march with his daughter and wife. He lives in Chickland and is concerned about the rising crime rate. “I am here with my family to support the community against crime. My neighbours were victims of crime and I share their pains and sorrows.”

Bhoe Tiwarie, speaking at the Freeport Police Station to marchers remarked that “the people of Central Trinidad are not going to let bandits treat them like stray dogs in their own community” and called upon the people to stand with the police in the fight against criminals. “If you don’t stand up no one would stand up for you. If we stand together we will build a community force to work with the police.”

Photo : MP Bhoe Tewarie, Mayor Gopåul Boodhan and MP Suruj Rambachan lead march against crime.

I was deeply moved seeing Bhoe Tewarie leading this fight with Mayor Boodhan, MP Rambachan and Alderman Karan Nancoo arm in arm. A Full Bright scholar, Bhoe served as a lecturer in American Literature at The UWI and was an active member of the Tapia House Movement, always articulating his views on regular columns in newspapers and television interviews. Bhoe served with the NAR Government and then went on to become the Principal of the Institute of Business which later evolved into the Author Lok Jack School of Business. During his stewardship as Principal of the St Augustine Campus there was the biggest expansion in physical infrastructure and student enrolment.  Few politicians today have such a long and distinguished career in public life!

Unfortunately, one cannot ignore a trend today to discard the “aged and experienced” in the politics and replace them with a kindergarten of neophytes (rainflies) who have no career or roots in the community but are totally at the mercy of the political jefes. Such culture removes all checks and balances as there remains no one to question and debate proposals before decisions are taken. It is similar to Julius Caesar’s dismantling of the Senate in Rome and declaring himself dictator for life.

T&T needs a brand of politicians who can stand on their own feet. Unfortunately, politicians of that ilk are becoming fewer. Today we are seeing a new development where aspiring politicians are totally dependent on the Political Leader for their survival. It’s like a bridegroom taking up residence at the home of his in-law with only his shirt on his back. This dependency culture of our politicians compromises our democracy. It explains why so few of our politicians are able to stand up and be counted. It is not a history of community service that help upward mobility in the politics but a culture of brown-nosing. For the few who don’t subscribe to this culture of brown-nosing, they are marginalised and ostracised within the political party.

The People’s March was an opportunity for members of parliament and councillors to demonstrate that they are tired and disgusted about the high spate of criminal activities in their communities. The people have done just that by hitting the road in their numbers. They have signalled to the bandits and murderers that they have had enough and they are ready to fight back!

Suruj Rambachan said that he was happy with the turn out but expressed disappointment that ‘many who complained so bitterly in their homes have failed to come out.”  Nevertheless, the march was a big success as it succeeded in getting the attention and cooperation of the police. The massive show of police presence on the day was a clear indicator that the police meant business.

At the end of the march Bhoe Tewarie expressed thanks to the marchers. “Thanks for standing up,” he said and mused that the march was “blessed” because despite the heavy overcast the rain did no fall. He was also high in praise of Senior Superintendent Inraj Balram for the cooperation of the police as he presented him with a package with letters containing suggestions to reduce the crime rate both in Caroni Central and nationwide.