Friday, December 15, 2017

Seeking new beginnings


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Women are significant in the story of the resurrection, for it was they, according to the Gospel, who first received the good news that Christ had risen.

When they went to his tomb, two angels greeted them: "Why look among the dead for someone who is alive."

The story of Easter says that Christ, as the son of man, had to be handed over to sinful men to be crucified and then rise again on the third day.

Regardless of one's beliefs, there is a universal message of grace in that story. Millions over the centuries have interpreted it as the triumph over evil, and that, in part, has strengthened their faith.

Many, who feel the pain of crucifixion in their daily lives, continue on in hope, because of that message, not seeing the end, but always a new dawn, not looking at what is dead among us, but what is alive.

One can speculate that Cheryl Miller, who up until Good Friday was committed to the St Ann's Mental Hospital for nearly three weeks, may have also found solace in that message.

Her story, one can further speculate, may prove to be one of the most tragic in our recent history.

So far, one can only be appalled that the protagonist in this tragedy is Verna St Rose Greaves, former voice of the downtrodden. Until her appointment, the Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development walked the streets, ringing her bell, wailing against the establishment's inhumanity.

Many may have expected the amnesia of Verna St Rose Greaves. Remember that Jack Warner explained to us that in politics, "yesterday was yesterday, and today is today." It is just that one did not anticipate that the Gender Minister would have defected that quickly from her roots as the people's advocate.

As Minister, one expected that she would have assaulted our social problems, such as the issue of 92,000 domestic violence cases which the advocacy group Aspire said occurred over the past ten years.

One would never have expected that the Gender Minister would have been part of "a management decision" that would result in a woman in her Ministry being committed to St Ann's.

"Of the infinite desires of man, the chief are the desires for power and glory," Bertrand Russell told us. And it is only in realising "the love of power in social affairs" that history can be interpreted, he added.

Had it not been for the vigilance of her co-workers, Cheryl Miller would have become an "un-person" her life erased in a mental institution, just like the millions of Russians that Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote of in The Gulag Archipelago.

We seem to be trending towards so many excesses, and particularly against women. Just look at the Minister of Education's continued indifference to the repeated abuse of the female principal at the Tunapuna Hindu School by the secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha.

Look too, at Watson Duke, president of the PSA, who has tried to explain away the physical abuse of women in an altercation at the PSA headquarters. Look also, at the case of a rape victim being turned away from the Morvant Police Station.

These are just a few of the upsetting truths. Hence, plaudits must go Veera Bhajan, the young attorney who was born without arms, for walking away from her job at the Attorney General's Office, because her "integrity was being compromised".

Veera's principled stance now appears unique, for every day we appear to be trending towards diminishing the phrase "integrity in public life". We saw it in the Senate last week, when then Vice President, Lyndira Oudit, held up a vote, and instructed the Clerk, not the Leader of Government Business, to summon all Government members who were not in the chamber.

We saw it in the Government payment of $233,600 for the sister of the Prime Minister to travel on the PM's various official trips around the world.

The absence of integrity could also be seen in San Fernando Mayor Marlene Coudray's failure to exercise basic home-grown manners by informing the leaders of the Congress of the People that she was no longer a party member.

Integrity was missing, too, when the Prime Minister's failed to acknowledge the contribution of Dr Eric Williams to this nation when as she announced plans for this country's 50th anniversary celebrations.

It appears that Dr Williams is to be made an "un-person" in this country. Also properly missing at her celebration event was the steelband, represented merely by a pan soloist.

While the Minister of Education announced his plans last week to disband the "Pan in the Classroom Unit", the British government announced its plans for a series of school steelband concerts throughout Britain as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Let's continue to search for what is alive among us.

* Keith Subero, a

former Express news editor,

has since followed a

career in communication

and management.