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Over and out, Kublal

Published: 
Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cross my one and only god-fearing heart, I had promised myself not to comment any further on the shenanigans being engaged in by Dr Wayne Kublalsingh and his amazing band of supporters in his farce of a fast which still is, for some inexplicable reason, now in its I-don’t-care-how-many day. That was until I heard the goodly gentleman’s intemperate response to the ill-advised plea by leader of the Congress of the People, Prakash Ramadhar, that Kublalsingh should call off his media-grabbing exercise immediately.

One of the dailies quoted Kublalsingh describing the well-intentioned minister as “an unmitigated cr..k,” and so on. I am sure the vast majority of citizens must be silently sucking their teeth (a long drag, that is) whenever—too often, I think—his name pops up on the pages of their newspaper, or seeing his almost emaciated image on the television screens in yet another futile attempt at having the state accede to his unreasonable demand on the disputed section of the San Fernando to Point Fortin Highway.

The only people who seem hell-bent on taking his odyssey to its ultimate destination wherever that may be, are his handful of acolytes and the usual assorted band of suspects, opposition politicians specially, included. I am not absolving Kublal of culpability in his self-conceived misadventure because he can take any amount of “basket” from whomsoever he chooses, but in the final analysis it is he who has to make that final call which would lead him to wherever destiny takes him. My problem with this man’s characterising of this farce, or I should say his clear indication of exactly what he was really doing camping outside the Prime Minister’s office in St Clair, was the totally-rude response he gave to Health Minister Fuad Khan, who offered him medical assistance during the first half of his “hunger strike.” 

At that time Dr Khan got a taste of Kublal’s acid tongue, which caused me to take a second look at Kublalsingh’s true motive and his subsequent modus operandi in this “noble cause,” as described by Ramadhar on Sunday, which left me convinced that he was following a carefully-drafted script which, to me, reeked of political flavour. I have no difficulty with that, but one does not take such a time-honoured and revered action as a fast and turn it into an occasion for political grandstanding. How well do I remember that memorable fast staged by Lincoln Myers in the ’80s, I believe, when Myers had what many thought was a legitimate cause, and he emerged unscathed as he fully observed the tenets of such action. Myers began his exercise at 6 am and ended it and 6 pm daily, (not from 9 am to 1 pm, hidden away for the rest of the day), in full glare of the public. During this period he did not find the time to castigate the State or the political directorate in a most unseemly manner. 

For the 50-plus days Kublalsingh claims to have not been eating or drinking, he has been very articulate in detailing his grievances with officialdom and whoever else, in the absence of the usual piety and humility one would normally associate with such an effort. I do not want to regurgitate all the facts in this matter as they are well known. I am discussing it in the context of what I perceive to be Kublalsingh’s grand effort to disguise his farce as a “noble cause,” as described by Ramadhar.

Efforts by the Government, including a request by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to have the executive of the Inter-Religious Organisation intervene to have this matter resolved by the men of the cloth, were rebuffed by Kublal and his minions. Works Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan’s offer to take members of the HRM and civil society (what is that?) on an aerial tour of the area to show that the highway posed no threat to the eco-system down there was flatly rejected by these honourable ladies and gentlemen.

There is no way that Kublalsingh is going to be satisfied with anything less than securing some magical “mediation” which would put the State on a path diametrically opposed to the legal system which it has chosen to adjudicate in this nonsensical dispute. I shouted at Ramadhar via this electronic contraption called television following the statement issued by him and his party’s executive on Sunday: “It good for you, you all wasting time on this man, you all look for that...” I have washed my hands of Kublalsingh and his narcissistic posturing and will return to the real issues affecting citizens of this fair land.

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