Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Obstacles to national service

The idea of compulsory national service for young citizens aged between 15-25 who are not engaged in studying and who might also be unemployed is a good one.

It will eliminate the stench of criminal behaviour now being experienced.

Posited by former mayor of Port of Spain, Louis Lee Sing, some years ago and now revived in his article (Express, February 16 headlined, “Can the PM call the nation to order?”) it is still an excellent idea but realistically unworkable on three fronts.

The person to make it happen, the Prime Minister, is, in the eyes of Mr Lee Sing, an inept boy from Mason Hall who has been defeated by the culture shock of having ascended from poor rural beginnings to the Office of the Prime Minister and is an individual seemingly unable to sensibly run T&T.

If the PM does not know his own “what he should be sitting upon from his own elbow”, he will be unable to appreciate with any intelligence, what Mr Lee Sing has to offer regarding corralling the ignorant young black population and preventing them from destroying themselves.

Maybe it would be wiser not to so eloquently put why one harbours disbelief regarding the capabilities of the sitting PM.

Mr Lee Sing has not mentioned the young Indo Trinis who are also endangered by drugs, guns, bad company etc.

Indian families are not as in control of their young people as in past years. Their inclusion is important in that there is a high suicide rate among young Indian people. (Global statistics can be found on Wikipedia).

Many of these young people fall into despair at disappointing their parents in terms of academic achievement and career choices.

Plus, some of them are just as dangerously bad and vindictive as their black compatriots. And herein lies the real spoke in the wheel — Sat Maharaj, general secretary of the Maha Sabha.

I distinctly remember Mr Maharaj calling rain on the idea of a compulsory national service.

He took the same intractable stance as he has today regarding the age of marriage consent for Hindu children: no government intervention in trying to control Hindus.

He was not going to allow it. I can see Sat fighting this idea to his last breath.

The third obstacle will be the young people themselves. Like good manners and an understanding of sex education, one has to begin selling the idea of a compulsory national service by age ten.

The uniforms, the stipend and the advertising must portray a palatable life worth enjoying while doing the correct thing for your country.

Strangely enough, it will be the people who do not need it who will find national service attractive.

I fully expect a plethora of remarks asking, “who Louis Lee Sing think and feel he is?” Should be very interesting indeed.

Lynette Joseph

Diego Martin