For years the Express Newspaper has recognised and honoured the person in the country who had done so much, who had achieved so much, that he/she just towered over everybody else that year as the Individual of that year.
International magazines as People and Time also recognise individuals for making a difference in their country and the world as actor Matthew McConaughey who has been recognised by People this year: When Matthew McConaughey’s hometown was devastated by a mass shooting last May, he and his wife, Camila, quickly returned to Uvalde. They didn’t have a plan; they just started talking to the victims’ families and immediately saw how much the parents wanted their kids’ lives to matter. In Washington, D.C., to urge gun reforms, the couple carried with them those “frontline stories from the families,” the Oscar winner says. One month later Congress passed historic federal gun legislation.
Trinidad’s Brian Lara won various international awards for his genius as a batsman as the cricket world celebrated him for his transcendence in that field. Lots of Trinis have also been recognised and honoured for excellence, but the flip side of that coin is the other fact which we prefer to sweep under the carpet. Here we don’t recognise and honour those who have blackened our name, our image, via their wrongdoings, but highlight their names for the world to see and know that in the midst of those who seek and pursue excellence, there are those who would like to tarnish our good name, who with evil intent, would like to send us back to the Dark Age.
Prominent in that category are politicians and business people whose goal in life are not for the people but just for themselves. Power for the politician means easier access to the Treasury, and association with the politicians for the business community means more deal making, more under the table multi-million dollar sweetheart contracts, and in this banana republic, crookedness has so flourished that we have become the classic example of global corruption.
When in sport, a national team is on the losing side, normally it’s the captain and coach who are held responsible, but because they are sports personality, generally they take in front and resign as recently was the case with both Phil Simmons and Nicholas Pooran who have given up their coach and captain position of the West Indies cricket team.
In politics, however, that level of selflessness is not displayed as politicians having had a sip of power, feel it is something that belongs to them until their last breath. Thus, this country which just couple years ago – with its iconic oil refinery and industry, sugar factory, steel mill and industrial estates – was on the cusp of acquiring First World status – has now regressed to past the Stone Age to the Mud Age as our dirt roads confirm – and who takes or should take the fall for that abysmal, apocalyptic situation. All over the world, politicians accept responsibility and resign when via their policies their country is in ruin and the hate of the people is directed at them. So when a Facebook poll asks if Rowley is taken out by a hitman and all those who responded said they would celebrate that person, you come to realise that the PM of this country is the most hated person and the award is unanimously his.
So while Rowley wins the most hated person award hands down, there are others who are close runners up – as Rohan Sinanan who has overseen the destruction of the country’s roads and highways; Fitzgerald Hinds who has literally fallen asleep on the job while murders in this country has made us the killing fields comparable with the most criminal countries in the world; Imbert, for his ABC knowledge of economics but smug and arrogant nonetheless and not to gloss over her guilt, there is Kamla who, lacking the sportsmanship of Pooran and Simmons, refuses to step down after innumerable defeats to make room for someone who could rebuild the organisation to when it was a national party and not just a Siparia clique of sycophants who are too blind to see that Kamla is spinning top in mud and the PNM via Rohan is making this a Mud country for her.
L. Siddhartha Orie