A lot has been said about the passing of Andrea Bharrat, the young lday who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered. Many issues have been brought to light as a result of this tragedy. We are now more aware of: the plight of women suffering from violence; the revolving door of criminals “in and out” of the prison system; corruption in the Sangre Grande court system; and the lack of “Will Power” on the part of government, both PNM and UNC, to do something about combating crime or governance. If the government only makes cosmetic changes, nothing will change.
I was not aware of the depth of corruption in the Sangre Grande courts prior to this incident. However, I am not surprised. There is widespread corruption in most areas of government. In most City Corporations and County Councils, it is difficult to get a house plan approved, without passing a bribe. The Licensing office has a variety of touts offering their services for a small fee. Try getting approval from the Electrical Inspectorate without bribing is impossible. Thirty years ago, I was told by friends that the only way they could import items is through bribing custom officers. That has not changed.
Besides corruption, the pure incompetence of government officials is beyond comprehension. To get simple things done such as a name change on a T+TEC bill is difficult. A friend of mine has been trying to get his T+TEC bill, changed to his name; there is always a glitch that prevents the change. I told him, if he were a squatter, it would be easy. In third world countries, it seems that government’s job is to frustrate the people; and, not to implement policies to smooth the relations with the people to make their lives better.
Last year, Trinidad had almost 400 murders. A few years ago, we had over 500 murders. Why should a small country like Trinidad have so many murders that go unsolved? Unfortunately, I am predicting that Trinidad will cross the 400 murder mark in 2021 if the government does nothing substantial to tame crime. Look, whether we talk about corruption in government, complacency of government officials to just “go along” with things;’ or the “pure incompetence” of the government to get things done efficiently. We need drastic change. Nothing less will improve the sad situation of Trinidad unless we are prepared to do somehting. If we “talk the talk, then we must walk the walk.” Let’s ask ourselves, do Trinis have the “Will Power to change things?
Jai Ram, Jai Shri Guru Ramesh “Rennie” Ramracha.
Founder and President of THE TRIGUSH (Trinidad, Guyana, Surinam, Hindus) ASSOCIATION;
Chairman of the TRIGUSH LIBRARY;
Mr. Ramracha was a lecturer at City University, N.Y;
Retired Teacher from the Dept of Ed, N.Y.C;
He holds a few graduate degrees from N.Y. area universities.