Is Israel Khan wrong when he appealed to the government for a limited SOE? This he argues would protect the State from citizens suing the State for breach of fundamental rights and freedom. Isn’t our country run by a constitution or rules, and not by a whimsical PM and his merry Cabinet? The constitution is the one instrument that governs us but this fact the Rowley administration has chosen to ignore. Instead, Rowley has become an expert at describing people as ghoul. It appears that he has a penchant for such negativity. Nevertheless, the citizenry knows better. They understand well that political bantering has its limit even if Dr. Rowley does not realize it.
Instead of uniting the population to fight the Covid19 pandemic, and a crumbling economy, the PM is using his language skills to stir dissent and division. Jhanjjat, hasikara, ghoul and recalcitrant are all negative words pouring out of his mouth in these troubled times when citizens would prefer a more uplifting vocabulary. Jhanjhat refers to unwanted noise; haskara is fussing over nothing, ghoul is a being associated with death and recalcitrant means stubborn or fixed in your ways.
Rowley once said in parliament that he likes the name “dharu mai” which translates as “drunk mother.” These are some others he should get his tutor to teach him like haramchor; buur, gaar, gadaha, bandar etc. Whoever is his tutor is doing a fine job and I must admit that Rowley is a quick learner! His tutor definitely would not be Deyalsingh or Rambharrat because these two anglicized gentlemen have long been social distancing themselves from their covid-infected ancestral heritage. Is it a member of SWAHA? I doubt the pandits of SWAHA are going to make mockery of their ancestral language. The only names I can thank about are either Rohan or the potato-land-grabbing crab-catcher from Felicity. And if I would have to bet I would say it is not the land gabber. He is too busy planting the land and filing claims for subsidies and other benefits from the State to find time for such antics!
But this is the level at which the so-called smart politician operates. It is never about enlightening policies to move the country forward. It is about ole talk: jahnjat, dharu mai, hasikara, etc. The only good thing about this exercise is that it brings some joy and happiness in this time when the threat of coronavirus can be very unnerving! And more so for a PM who generally takes his job too seriously!
The coronavirus pandemic is revealing to mankind how important are some of the things we take for granted and how we have burdened ourselves with so many things that we can live without. For example, the need to have medical personnel is very much underlined in this crisis.
In the nation’s haste to provide universal education many graduates with with hardly any specific knowledge and skills in a field. Not surprisingly, such idle minds have time to learn new words not out of love for a language but to hurl ridicules at political opponents.
Basdeo Panday was a connoisseur of words and left us with a few- neemakharam, sychphants, pathological, etc. But his was one of style, tone and timing that impacted his audience. Panday’s flair for words was a continuation of his love for languages from his secondary school life at Presentation College, San Fernando. For many who took pride in languages, they always felt that it was a delight listening to Basdeo Panday.
This cacophony of Rowley that parades as “addresses” is truly jhanjhat or noise. Such degradation of a language that is associate with luminaries such as VS Naipaul, Shakespeare, CLR James, Winston Churchill is insulting to say the least. Such low vocabulary of a language is like gravitating to pig tail soup and souse and ignoring the stews and curries prepared with the choicest meats.
The obverse of it is that the new words have now been integrated into the Trini dialect. And coming to think about it I should not be a neemakharam and not say (dhanyavaad) or thanks to Dr. Rowley. Nevertheless, one Hindi word the PM must know is “grah” or inauspicious period that brings hardships and calamities. Here is a sentence in which the PM can use this word: Our nation and the entire humanity is going through a grah- a tough period which we shall overcome.