Dr. Kwame Nantambu

Political Immaturity in TnT

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
October 28, 2007

As TnT becomes fully embroiled in the 5th November general elections euphoria, some overt, scary symptoms of political immaturity seem to have gone astray in its body politic.

Indeed, while on the one hand, Calypsonian Winston "Gypsy" Peters is still being tarred and feathered for contesting elections on a UNC - Alliance ticket, on the other hand, one finds that in 2007, the political seas are calm, unruffled and smooth as Chutney artiste Heeralal Rampartap is contesting the same elections on a PNM ticket. What's wrong with this picture?

Apparently, in typical TnT's political immature, insane and nonsensical modus operandi, it is unacceptable for "Gypsy" to run on the UNC-Alliance label but, all of a sudden, it is totally acceptable for Rampartap to run on a PNM label

This represents the zenith of political madness, insanity, immaturity and ill-conceived, circuitous reasoning.

As an addendum, one also finds that it is apparently okay and acceptable for Chutney artiste Adesh Samaroo to perform at PNM election rallies but all hell breaks loose and insanity rears its ugly head when "Orange Sky" performs at the same UNC-Alliance election rallies. As a result of exercising its precious democratic right, the group's musical career is now "feeling the heat" and the venomous wrath of Trinbagonians.

This is "madness, total madness."

A companion question that comes to the fore is: Why Trinbagonians do not have a problem with Chutney artiste Chris Garcia's appearance in paid newspaper advertisements in support of the PNM and Calypsonian "Skatie's" earlier paid commercials in high praise of the "picture, picture" of the PNM's Ministry of Health?

The fact of the matter is that Trinbagonians cannot have it both ways; by so doing, only hypocrisy wins out in the long-run all the time. A reality check reveals that this is the unhealthy smell/stench that permeates/engulfs TnT's political immature air.

Insidious political double-standard is ubiquitous in TnT's elections 2007.

Indeed, another very poignant, pertinent question arises: How is it that Indian-Trinbagonians did not insult, heckle, boo or shout nasty/disrespectful aspersions at Ruplal Gidharie when he sang a winning pro-PNM song at the 2007 Chutney Monarch competition but Afrikan-Trinbagonians continue to insult, heckle, boo and shout nasty/disrespectful aspersions at "Gypsy" whenever and wherever he sings anti-PNM songs? What's wrong with this picture, citizens of TnT?

The fact of the matter is that now is the time for political maturity and a sound, rational political decision-making process to relegate the ominous, destructive, divisive spectrum of political immaturity to the ash heap of TnT's political history.

Insidious political double-standard is ubiquitous.

Moreover, there is an adage that says: "None of us is free until all of us are free."

In the specific case of political immaturity in TnT, none of us will be free until all of us Trinbagonians are free to express our individual political affiliation, allegiance and support via music, public endorsement, financial contribution, etc., without fear, malice, ridicule, ostracism, denigration, financial loss/victimization, etc.

If insults, disrespect, heckling, booing and whatever are good for one, then, they must be good for all. That's the only way "every creed and race (will) find an equal place" in TnT.

Furthermore, the political seas were calm, unruffled and smooth when Franklin Khan served as Chairman of the PNM--- No problem. However, it is rather very strange that these same political seas have remained solidly intact now that Nafeesa Mohammed is serving as the current deputy political leader of the PNM--- No problem.

Nevertheless, suddenly, all hell breaks loose and insanity rears its ugly head once again as Austin Jack Warner serves as co-leader of UNC-Alliance.

Insidious political double-standard is ubiquitous.

In addition, Trinbagonians do not seem to have a problem with Wendy Lee Yuen serving as deputy political of the Congress of the People.

What's wrong with this picture, citizens of TnT? What is the thought process here?

Is TnT speeding out of control down the slippery slope of ethnic suicide, self-inflicted destruction and socio-political chaos?

Are Trinbagonians playing the puerile, immature, simplistic, futile, silly game of rejecting the notion of ethnicity in politics while in the same mode/breath, selectively, deceitfully, and surreptitiously accepting, embracing and perpetuating it? What a pity!

This country is too small for such intractable political retrogression.

What is even more retrograde is that this year's electoral process is taking place smack in the midst of the availability of free tertiary education to Trinbagonians. This is scary. A reality check reveals that the acquisition of free tertiary education has not produced any modicum of political maturity among voting-age Trinbagonians. What's wrong with this picture?

In the final analysis, if TnT is seeking to achieve developed nation status by 2020, then, there must be a companion intellectual, mature, professional and politically savvy plank coterminous with such economic "vision." Developed nation status demands the acquisition/functioning of a first world mind-set and comparable political decision-making process. TnT is totally devoid of this process in 2007.

Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies and University of the West Indies.

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