Last update: 05-Dec-2013 12:35 am
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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'Licking the spit of politicians’
“Humanity must perforce prey on itself. Like monsters of the deep.”
Coincidentally, I hear two similar stories on the same day from India and Trinidad. The first, a news report from the Times of India: In a backward village in India (there are 600,000 villages in India) a man attempted to molest a young girl. Her parents demanded justice at the panchayat (local self-government). It was decided by the villagers that his punishment would be licking their spit off the ground. The villagers spat on the ground. The man was forced to lick this spit. That night he committed suicide, unable to deal with the humiliation.
The other, a story from a policewoman: A woman from Chaguanas is brutalised by her husband. She has a black eye from being bashed in the head. He hammers her and then urinates on her. The woman wanders somewhere in Trinidad, humiliated. The next day this happens to me:
A woman driver appears from a side street and hits my bumper hard. My car gets a scratch. I am shaken up but not damaged otherwise. She’s a bank worker in some kind of well-pressed uniform. Not management. Thirtyish. Long hair tied up in a ponytail. Boxy frame. Not from Port-of-Spain. Nasal voice. Brown skin. Round face. We eye one another warily. I check my car. There’s a scratch. I say to her: “It’s fine. It’s a scratch. Let’s forget about the police station. I’ll handle it. I am shaken. Just say sorry, and let’s be on our way.”
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