What do two baldheaded men have to do with lice? When Prime Minister, the Honorable Dr. Keith Rowley, a baldhead, charged Rodney Charles, another baldhead with insults like ‘flea-stricken and lice laden’ was he invoking the era when Indian students’ hair was infested with lice and they were scorned by other pupils and parents? In some government school parents vehemently protested the presence of Indian students because of their poor hygiene. One gentleman said that his parents had to enroll him and his siblings in the Presbyterian school which were distant away rather than the government school which was in the neighborhood.
Instead of wasting his energies on the social conditions of Indians in in the 1940s and 1950s, it would be better for Dr. Rowley to focus on lifting the literacy levels of more than 200 schools that have been identified as underperforming. The current violence that is pervasive in schools along the East West Corridor should be addressed by his government along with runaway crime rate and murders.
Dr. Keith Rowley should have learned from the Indians who dealt with their lice and illiteracy. Today Indian students do not present themselves as unhygienic because the homes have dealt with the problems head on. Instead, of learning from the positive attitude in resolving social issues by dealing with them, Prime Minister Dr Rowley has chosen to look at the mole in the neighbor’s eye.
Dr Rowley must accept that the crime hot spots in this country are in the constituencies that return the PNM. And even where the opposition has been elected to parliament, the crime hotspots are in areas that vote overwhelmingly for the PNM.
For a social issue to be addressed, it must first be acknowledged. Regrettably, the government under Dr. Keith Rowley paints a narrative that all is well. Any criticism of his administration is met with fierce and even personal attacks. Despite this the loyal supporters of the PNM cheer those crass outbursts of their beloved political leader. Nevertheless, there are other sections of this community that are finding Dr. Rowley’s remarks uncouth and have strongly condemned them.
The era of the Cold War has long gone, and the new world order is more market oriented and pragmatic. Washington has no interest in keeping a Papa Doc Duvalier, Eric Gairy or Forbes Burnham in power to eliminate threats from communist elements.
Nevertheless, the collapse of our energy-based industry has made this nation state irrelevant in the global economy. Only recently Dr Rowley’s offer of the refinery to the Guyanese government was turned down. No wonder he is so bitter! It is quite possible that the lice and flea attacks were directed at President Irfan Ali and not at Rodney ‘Baldhead’ Charles.