Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Seeing through Rowley's Debe tour


"obvious move": Dr Keith Rowley

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Well, now, don't that beat all— there is Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley touring the Debe Market and cutting up mango for talkari (curry/side dish). This man really knows how to make me laugh and choke on my coffee on seeing him on a makeshift pirha (small stool) cutting up green mango.

This man is really re-engineering his image. He was wearing a kurta only recently. I understand he and PNM (People's National Movement) MP Donna Cox made sure they were not left out in the photograph of all parliamentarians in Indian wear for Divali.

As a matter of fact, it was Deodath Ojah Maharaj who certified Dr Rowley's Indianness by his letter detailing attendance and participation in Hindu functions. Bravo! Will he be sweeping the streets or frying aloo pie next to show that he and the people of Debe and Chaguanas are one? I personally want to see him sakay (turn) a roti on a Debe tawah (round griddle). How nice to see Dr Rowley doing what members of the Government have been doing for years?

But Dr Rowley is curious. Isn't this the same Debe that he sharply criticised the Government for locating a law campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI)? The same campus which was not intended to enrich Indian people of Debe but, instead, to bring relief to students of all persuasions who live in the South.

As a matter of fact, the PNM is so obvious—when they are in Port of Spain, they castigate everything the Government does for non-urban people. Everything done in areas not represented by the PNM is race-driven, intended to benefit supporters of the People's Partnership and willed to disenfranchise PNM supporters—be it a bus shed, pavement or new library.

When the Opposition party is in South where they know the volatility of rural sensibilities, they are careful. As a matter of fact, they rehearse themselves carefully to make sure they know the vernacular, Indian and otherwise. They are au courant with the culture and walk with their respect, lest somebody does a crossed-hands gesture for them. When they go back to town, they will sit down with the Port of Spain mayor to spit fire. I fully expect them to chant their failed mantra that the Government is not taking care of the people of Debe.

Alas, the only disagreeable thing is the vendor who tried to sell Dr Rowley some overpriced watermelon. Shame! He should have given the man a free piece, blessed with the love of the suffering people of Debe.

William Rajkumar