fighting for a cause: Dr Wayne Kublalsingh

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The Mahatma Wayne Kublalsingh?

It distresses me greatly when I see important people who run this country dismiss and trivialise the hunger strike of Dr Wayne Kublalsingh in such derogatory and disrespectful terms using phrases like "playing the fool" and words like "carcass".

It is disrespectful to all right-thinking people and especially to the doctor and his family and supporters.

Dr Kublalsingh has been the voice of the voiceless and disadvantaged for many years on environmental issues and a respected educator at UWI. Why all this sudden disrespect and vilification of someone who is fighting for humanitarian causes? Anyone who can put their life on the line for his belief and convictions is a great leader, deserving of great respect in civilised society. From appearances, it seems that we are not so civilised after all.

The attitude and position taken by the Prime Minister and the government will be judged by history. The world always watches with keen interest, events such as these because it deals with man's inhumanity to man and respect for life, subjects that push us forward to becoming better human beings and thus a more advanced civilisation.

We want to stay away from the stigma of the Middle Ages. God gives people the opportunity to redeem themselves and do the right thing, because God is magnanimous, benevolent and forgiving, when they fail, he takes control and puts things right. Power and wealth is fleeting just like a few seconds of pleasure, righteousness always prevails in the end.

Such a person as Dr Kublalsingh is a great soul or "mahatma". Isn't it a wonder that no one else is referred to as Mahatma but the great Gandhi Ji?

It is because the world respected and still reveres him because of his hunger strike to gain Independence for India. He founded the principle of "satyagraha" which means "truth force", later taken up by Dr Martin Luther King.

Who among the doctor's detractors can fast for more than one day? "Judge not that you may not be judged by the same standards", are powerful words.

I pray for darkness to be removed from the souls that criticise and vilify him, for they are yet to be enlightened to the ways of divine love, for the master said that if you showed kindness and love to the lowliest of his children you have showed love to him. Yet people pour scorn on a man of substance. Judgment is awaiting you.

As I understand it, Dr Kublalsingh and his re-route group do not want to stop the highway as many people feel, they simply want rerouting of about one mile which passes through a sensitive ecological area. Its lagoon territory already prone to flooding where they do not want matters to worsen, also to protect the ancestral homes of many.

In Texas, USA, a US$90 million highway under pass was rerouted because it endangered the habitat of a small blind spider. Isn't the doctor's life worth more than a spider's?

History and the world will vindicate Dr Kublalsingh and he will be remembered long after his oppressors and detractors, while they will be cast into ignominy and infamy.

Joel Quintal

San Fernando

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