Demagoguery is the order of the day rather than finding a solution to the crime. The sane and sober thinkers of this country such as Professor Cudjoe, Dr Winfred James and Reginald Dumas agreed that ‘Young black males behind most murders’ (Anna Ramdass-Express January 21, 2020). However, their views are marginalized as the David Mohammeds and the Roger Mohammeds try hard to deny this social reality.
Anna Ramdass examined statistics on crime from the Crime and Problem Analysis Branch of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service for the period 2015 to 2019. The statistics revealed that ‘for the period 2015 to 2019, a total of 510 persons were charged with murder.’ The article continued: ‘Of this figure, 490 were males and 90 were females. The statistics revealed that, with respect to ethnicity, 542 were Afro-Trinidadians and 107 were Indo-Trinidadians.’
Professor Cudjoe, in his response to the statistics, recognized that less emphasis was being placed on the social conditions that drive criminal activities. “We are dealing with crime from the point of view of law enforcement, we are not looking at it from the other end of the spectrum which is why do so many people get into crime situation, especially young black people? What are the causes? That is what we are not spending enough time looking at,” said Dr Cudjoe.
Anna Ramdass quoted Reginald Dumas who commented on Dr Rowley’s remarks at an Emancipation program that Africans are not doing well to which Dumas asked: “The question is having said that what has the Government done? … It is not good talking about one shot one kill… we have to confront the issue as a society, otherwise God help us.”
Dr Winfred James said: “… there is an ethnic coloration to it which is quite unfortunate.” James continued: “…factors such as crash of Afro families, the vulnerable youth and the luring into fast cash via crimes are elements to be discussed.”
It is not the sober heads of the intellectuals and elders who are taken seriously but the demagogues who are, instead of putting their shoulders to the wheel, using emotive language to stir the base instinct of ethnic identity and self-preservation.
Both pandits run mandirs in the Aranguez/ San Juan district. I am happy that they have stood up for the victims of crime in the Aranguez district. They have demonstrated a social and moral responsibility to stand with their communities in times of crises. This is unlike many who shun their social responsibilities and hide themselves in gated communities, sitting on the sofa before 90-inch smart televisions nursing diabetes and high blood pressure, waiting for their number to call.
From 1956 to present there are leaders of communities that have remained silent to the ills of this society to reap personal benefits; and while these leaders have risen materially their community has deteriorated.
I am proud that leaders like Bhadase Maraj, Rudranath Calpildeo, and Basdeo Panday had the moral strength to stand against this behemoth that is the PNM. It is time that some of those who have given moral support to the PNM over the years stand up on their feet and reclaim their manhood.
To those critics of Kamla’s leadership, the social condition presents an ideal opportunity for them to lay down their buckets. These armchair politicians need to step out of their offices and living rooms and confront the political and social forces that are driving this country down a precipice.
I am proud of Pandit Maharaj and Pandit Rambachan who understand well their dharmic duties as leaders. Those who feel otherwise are pathetic losers, hoping and praying that some crumbs from the PNM table may fall into their mouths.