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Though the story is distasteful, the caption is wonderful: “‘It’s the worst anyone can do’ -Human Services Minister slams businessman for trying to justify mistreating daughter” (KN April 11). I read no more. It was all that I needed. It is what I expect from the Hon. Minister of Human Services and some other kind of protection.
Editor, I have some regard for this female minister in the PPP Government. I still do, though it is lower, and by her own hand, her own inaction. I thought that she was the full package, the real Teresa, Indira, and Golda; the first a mother of magnificence, the other two women leaders of particular caliber. It is delightfully pleasing to read that caption about a father and daughter, and how when things went wrong, the Hon. Dr. Vindya Persaud, could have had the courage and personal integrity to say, I deplore the deed and I denounce the dad. It is of a minister that, indeed, is about human services (I am here for the hurting), and a woman whose maternal instincts are stirred to righteous wrath, so that she hastens to provide the widest of social protection (I call out and I condemn).
It is the Vindya Persaud that I had conjured in my mind, and in the fullness of doing her duty, of delivering on her closely held dharma. If I may be so presumptuous as to lecture the Hon. Minister, the nation’s first lady of human services and social protection, I say to her that such wondrous energy, such clean strokes of conviction, must not be piecemeal, should never be paltry, in the roaming application of standards, of class, and this is regardless who is involved, and when it is absolutely mandatory. The Minister is bright enough and wise enough to know that which I speak of without me mentioning a single word. But, just in the event she is overcome by a rare moment of memory lapse, I give her a one-word nudge. Parliament. I think it enough, I leave the rest to her.
However belatedly, she must not fail to address the unaddressed that goes beyond degrading others of the fairer strain. I think it endangers them, wounds grievously. There comes a time when one’s own character, the sum of convictions, must come to grips with circumstances, as they are, and rise to conquer whatever it is that is not protective of human dignity, what lacks humanity, and all because it is so despicable with its accumulated vile indecencies and indignities. On such occasions, there are no friends, no brothers and, if I may, no cherished comrades. There must be no picking and choosing the situations for a position to be taken. For sure, it is safe and primly proper to take aim at a businessman, a likely stranger, who hurt himself and another. But the truer test, the tougher triathlon, what kind of measuring results when it is neighbor, a fellow with a compulsive fetish, a fellow traveler who lost his way a while, and keeps going down that decayed road.
In sum, Minister Persaud disappointed, when she manifested a lack of true grit, when the circumstances in that desecrated house called for nothing, but such personal gravitas.