It is sickening to hear someone always complaining about the wrong done to them. In the classroom, teachers are deluged with complaints by victims of bullying. Ask the victims what they have done to ward off the bully, and their cowardice is revealed.
I recalled a nephew of mine being beaten up by co-students. Knowing the parents, my sister visited the home of the bully and complained to them. The bullying did not stop but intensified. It was time for me to act. I enrolled my nephew in a karate class and within three weeks the parents of the bully were by my sister’s home complaining about the aggression of my nephew.
In Trinidad and Tobago, some peoples are complainants because they operate from a point of weakness. To be sitting in the opposition is a disgrace but it seems to be a place where many people love to be. Maybe they have reasoned that half of the roti is better than none. The reality is that when you are in opposition, the winner takes all never mind the constitutions and their guarantees of fundamental rights.
I looked on with excitement at Dr. Maryam Abdool-Richard’s justification for sitting on the board of Angostura. The lady believes that there is no conflict of interest and that she is qualified and competent to do so and pointed to her directorship in NIPDEC and Eastern Regional Health Authority, not excluding her substantive position as a health official in the Ministry of Health.
The arguments put forward by the Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance that alcohol is a major contributor to non-communicable diseases do not seem to have any impact on Dr. Abdool-Richards. Maybe be she views this morality code as hypocritical since drinking alcohol and having a fun time is integral to the culture of the land.
The truth is Dr. Abdool-Richards understands the power and flaunts it. If others believe that power is calling talk shows and writing blogs, then let it be. Dr. Abdool-Richards is a relative of the late Principal of St Augustine Campus and President of the Republic, Professor Max Richards. It is worthy of noting that Professor Max Richard’s father was an active member of the PNM…at least he understood where power lies. His sacrifice cleared the path for his descendants to strive majestically.
I must commend Veera Bhajan for her heroism. She is truly an exemplar, demonstrating defiance that is rare in the community. Most would have grown frustrated and declined the appointment to serve in the Equal Opportunity Commission after having to endure the ‘pure hate’ from Chairman Donna Prowell-Raphael. But Ms. Bhajan has chosen to fight instead. It is this kind of spirit that is needed for success…to get out of opposition and into the seat of government.
The judge could not have dreamed that Ms. Veera Bhajan was discriminated against but when the matter was heard, she had the opportunity to tongue-lash the Chairman of the Equal Opportunity Commission for her cheap despicable behavior.
Had places been reversed between Ms. Bhajan and Dr. Abdool-Richards, Ms. Bhajan would have been vehemently condemned. More so, praises would have been showered on Dr. Abdool-Richards for her determination to serve despite her physical challenges.
Jump high, jump low there is going to be repeats of these scenarios – one individual enjoying privileges and others suffering discrimination. So long as we allow the bullies to kick us and don’t fight back, we will be forever at their mercy.
Hats off to Dr. Abdool-Richards! The woman is associated with a winning party that her family built. She is a natural heiress to the PNM and is entitled to the largesse of office. I am happy that she is taking the offers that are coming her way with both hands. My contention is that if some of us have refused to be associated with politics, then what right would you have do we have to question in whose hands the plums of office fall.
The fate of Ms. Bhajan is the norm for the underdogs unless the latter are prepared to work hard to become the top dogs. Ms. Bhajan has demonstrated grit and determination! Calling the talk shows and crying discrimination is not going to win power. It is a shift in attitude and the willingness to organize the ground support that would bring about change. No amount of objecting to the appointment of Dr. Abdool-Richards is going to bring the opposition to power. Much more is needed!