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Indiscipline, the root of T&T’s evils
Readers of this space over the years will recall I keep arguing that the most severe problem bedevilling T&T is indiscipline—from top to bottom—and from that flows all our other serious social problems, including the runaway homicide rate. So my little heart was more than delighted when our new president, Anthony Carmona, told the large audience at his very impressive inauguration ceremony on Monday that he planned to infuse new life into the national watchwords: discipline, production and tolerance.
“T&T,” he lamented, “has become a highly indisciplined society.” Like so many of us who are concerned about the direction society has been going, not only now but from several years ago, His Excellency was right on target with his concern over the lack of discipline plaguing the society. I have asked people like criminologist Prof Ramesh Deosaran to do some research work on what caused us to reach the sorry state we are in today.
I am sure His Excellency can talk about his childhood days, when children like himself were allowed to be youngsters enjoying their youthful days without having to worry about gunned down for almost absolutely no reason. I know this must be a sore point with His Excellency and we all should encourage him to pursue vigorously the real meaning of our watchwords, particularly discipline.
His Excellency’s speech was stacked with hope and promises for the future and if we all throw our weight behind what he has told this nation in his maiden speech as the country’s head of state he should be given all the support he needs.
I am not trying to give anyone false hopes because the President has only limited powers in the discharge of his duties and while we were all enthused with his powerful address, I believe it should be made mandatory reading for all schoolchildren especially the secondary students; we all have to make a fresh start in turning around the fortunes of our country.
On this point of indiscipline, the authorities at the Emperor Valley Zoo must be given full marks for banning the disgraceful wearing of the so-called “saggy pants,” which in my view no self-respecting young man should be seen wearing in public. Parents have a large role to play in the upbringing of their children and you cannot tell me that most of these deviants, as I choose to call them, are not living under some kind of a roof with adults.
You think my son would ever dream of not only being disrespectful to himself but to the people he comes across in public? A city in the United States a couple years ago imposed a similar ban and if we as a people are serious with changing the dangerous course some of our young people have chosen, we have to take the tough decisions needed at this time. President Carmona is showing us the way even with the limited powers at his disposal.
Another powerful issue he raised with respect to the crime situation was when he observed: “Today our jails house a disproportionate percentage of young males from depressed communities and we need as a society to devise ways and means to addressing this dilemma. For too many years young men from our depressed communities are being murdered...”
The reasons for this are well known and some of the main factors are the broken homes in these areas; values that they themselves choose to adopt; and this victimhood syndrome by which they feel everybody else is against them.
These are some the things that the President would have to address, as he said, while thinking out of the box, because the system has already turned out a whole generation of young people who have chosen a life of their own and, unlike the President, I don’t believe there is much rehabilitation potential for many of them.
But I will give him the benefit of the doubt and if he could cause one of these young men to change their ways, that is one life which can be saved from destruction. In the meantime the President, as I said, must be encouraged in pursuing his mission statement.
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