Trinidad and Tobago celebrate its 59th anniversary of Independence amidst the Covid 19 Pandemic on August 31, 2021.
Anniversaries are noteworthy issues that confront the national citizenry, especially when we do not have much to celebrate.
No one can doubt that the State of Trinidad and Tobago is not in stable hands. Much has been done, but much more could have been done.
Imagine after spending billions of dollars in WASA, T&TEC, road building, health and education, and the delivery of goods and services, the citizens are still groping in the dark to anchor themselves.
For instance, turn on your tap, and you get no water or muddy water, if you are lucky. Countless burst mains ornament the landscape, and only after several weeks, the leaks are fixed, only to return the next day to see the same leak. WASA is just one example of a failed State.
At Independence, we hear great platitudes about proper governance, but these are just a sham. Our leaders must come clean and tell the people that they have failed now, and will fail in the future. We need a serious spirit of nationalism which seems to be blown out of the window.
At Independence in August 1962, our two leaders, Dr Eric Williams and Dr Rudranath Capildeo gave the people of Trinidad and Tobago invoked in our people new hope, new leadership and a new spirit of co-operation to walk them into a new utopia. But this has all fallen into deaf ears which led us to carelessness, a weak society to traverse the pathway with no direction.
We must stop blaming external forces for the follies which continue to befall us. Trinidad and Tobago do not belong to one people or one regime, rather it belongs to the whole society, but daily this fact continues to elude us.
Leadership must not be consigned to one person or group who talks boldly that “we are in charge”- in charge of what? And where are the people being led?
We say that we are in a democracy, but we must remember that democracy consists of its own germs of destruction, as evidence in today’s society.
The time has come for us to set or develop new paradigms of democracy, leadership and management to manage our national patrimony which belongs to no individual but to all. We must continue to develop and engineer a new democracy for tomorrow’s society by acting positively today. Imagine, we cannot oversee the problems of floods, poverty, dangerous roads with no bridge railings, poor agricultural facilities, and in most cases none. Food prices continue to escalate quicker than NASA going to the moon.
Our Parliament has now become the haven to accuse each other of theft and who bobol more. We hear of grandiose speeches and read glossy manifestoes as we go to the polls, but are quickly discarded as they step in the corridors of power.
Our leaders may well take evening lessons in leadership, management and politics, and failure to do so with great haste and expectancy, would be dancing top in mud, as my late father would say when there is no activity of the sort.
Nevertheless, I wish the Government and People of Trinidad and Tobago Happy Independence, and that when we observe our 6oth anniversary, we would not have to blame any Covid for our failures, mismanagement, laziness.
Probably, a national commission of inquiry into the leadership of our country. Invite the United Nations to undertake this task.
We must begin afresh with a new dynamism, epochal thinking to really build an inclusive society wherein we all must dwell in unity, peace, concord and harmony. If fails, we fail at our own peril.