By Tony Deyal
Tuesday was Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad. Although I believe that while the politicians, contractors, doctors, lawyers and “business” people have all arrived but the rest of us have not reached, I found one Indian who without ever reaching Trinidad did not give a dam. Worse, he was the real thing and not, like many of the Trini politicians, just a phoney. I know we have all heard about brain drains but what about drain brains?
Most of us have read, or heard of “A House For Mr. Biswas” by Vidia Naipaul. Now India has its own no-bell prize, “A Grouse For Mr Vishwas.” Picture this. Rajesh Vishwas, a food inspector, last week dropped his phone in the Paralkot reservoir in central India. He tried to take a selfie with his $1,200 Samsung phone. He first sent divers into the reservoir and then ordered the entire reservoir drained. It took more than three days to drain the roughly 530,000 gallons of water from the reservoir. When his phone was found at the bottom, to the disappointment of MrVishwas, and to nobody else’s surprise, the smartphone was neither smart nor religious enough to keep on working or walking in water. So, what did both Vishwas and the fish say when they saw the phone being dragged out of the water? Dam!
Although there are people who feel that the spelling of the name “Vishwas” would be better by replacing the “w” with another “s” at the end, he is not the only Indian Arrival in the brew. While Indira Gandhi said, “Corruption is in the blood of Indians”, stupidity is supposedly second in the stream. There are indeed many contenders for “the stupidest politician in India”. One writer chose as “the most hated poster boy of the Congress government, S. Digvijay Singh, who runs his mouth almost always – putting himself and his party in an awkward situation.” After the Mumbai blasts, Singh said, “India is better than Pakistan where blasts take place every day, every week.”
The same writer added as his second in common a member of the famous Gandhi family, political rulers of the country for many years. He commented, “The scion of the Congress government, Rahul Gandhi is all talk, no brains…To say “Poverty is a state of mind” is not being philosophical…”. Gandhi is also quoted as saying, “Indian women enjoy it. I want to provide them more of such enjoyment“, “10 out of 7 youths in Punjab are hooked on to drugs“, and “Politics is in your shirt and pants.” Thinking about this I realised it could not be a “Lazy Boy Ash Black” or “Herbivorous Pea Dragon Jeans. My choice would be a “Drop Crotch Harem Pants” for all the Jeans and Dinahs in town.
However, as Indian female politician, Matama Banerjee of West Bengal said, “Rape cases are on a rise in the country because men and women interact with each other more freely now,” She also said, when the leader of the Student Federation of India wall killed by the police, “It is a small and petty matter.”
However, India is not alone in the stakes for the world’s worst politicians. One who is among the leaders in the field is Tony Abbott, the British-born politician who was Australia’s prime minister from 2013 to 2015, a period of one year and twenty-five weeks. When commenting on a soldier’s death overseas to one of the soldier’s friends, he said “Shit Happens”. Abbott also winked at a phone sex worker during a radio talk show.
Worst, he claimed, “It is a man’s right to demand sex, and a woman’s right to withhold it, but both must be used in moderation.” He was the Minister for Women at the time. A former Mexican senator, Gutiérrez de la Torre, chairman of the Institutional Revolutionary Party in Mexico City, ran a prostitution business on behalf of the ruling party at its offices in the nation’s capital. It was financed by public money.
Some people argue that as a politician Vishwas should have known better. However, he is not alone in this field or lake. There are other politicians who themselves, and not their phones, reach rock bottom. I must apologise to my friend from Siparia, Trinidad, whose nickname was ‘Rock’ because of his football skills and who would have ‘cuffed’ me down for any such comment on his rear or rare end.
One of my favourite stories is proof that while some people, like the Indians who have suspended Vishwas because he is not worth a dam, give a dam about the dams, there are others who stand in the middle and end up with mud on their faces. In Michigan, the politicians ruled that there would be no building without a permit. On that basis, they sent a letter to Mr Stephen Tvedten demanding that he “cease and desist” the construction of two dams on his property. The problem was that it wasn’t Tvedten building the dams – it was a family of beavers.
As a believer and not a beaver, I tried to find out who are “The Top Ten Stupidest Politicians” in the world. One list included Donald Trump (of course) and Sarah Palin. Then I thought of the Caribbean politicians in the mix with some leading the charge of the shite brigade. Before any of you are angry because I used this term, Wiktionary says it is “A foolish or deceitful person who is useless.” In terms of Jamaica, Tyrone Read, Senior Staff Editor of the Gleaner, wrote, “Politicians in Jamaica are among the worst paid in the region, but that could be a reflection of the performance.” The Gleaner makes the point that almost a $J100 billion is being sucked annually from the national economy by crime and corruption.
Former Trinidad prime minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, immediately after Tropical Storm Tomas hit Barbados, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines made it clear: “We will have to look at ways in which we would be able to assist. But you would recall my comments earlier this year, when I said there must some way in which Trinidad and Tobago would also benefit.”
The Barbados government was taken to task by the Barbados Today (BT) newspaper which quoted talk show host and attorney-at-law, Sade Jemmott, “I honestly hate how this government insists on making unforced errors. Like why in this climate would you just up and rename Independence Day of all things?” BT added, “This reflects the sentiment of many people who are still baffled by the decision. It is what the Americans might term being ‘tone deaf.” The one good thing that came out of it all is that whether our prime ministers preached, or Samsung, we still have a way to go to catch up with the US and India.
*Tony Deyal was last seen asking the prime minister of Trinidad who shut the floodgates to stop the free money coming to his country from the Gates Foundation? This leads to the global question, “What do they call any prime minister when the person enters parliament?” An inside joke.