The suspicious sound of silence

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Anyone seeking proof that the government is on the back foot just has to look at the signs. It is in total disarray and every move, cobbled up by a coterie of advisers who would have been better off sticking to jobs more suited to their abilities, backfires big time. And trust, inevitably, is withering.

But there is coherence in the madness and obtuseness. The underlying principle is turning the country into a school play yard. You can’t cope with the children’s criticism and pinpricks? You call your big brother. This is how we saw the prime minister’s father come out of a retreat he should have resigned himself to a long time ago, to read to us comments from a script prepared by those who have not yet taken their PR 101 exam. And so we find out that we have the best prime minister we have ever had in this country. Or so say the notes prepared for the father about the son. I have so much more to say about this but, out of respect for old age and empathy for a man whose shaking hands and laboured reading conjure sympathy for him and anger at those using him, I will say no more.

But the children’s games can get nasty. A patch of radicals, united by their desire to serve obscure forces even at the expense of the peace that has prevailed in this country for decades, are now taking the law into their own hands. Emboldened by the inactivity of a police with other priorities imposed on it and an implicit nod from those in power and fed on whipped up communal fear, this growing phenomenon testifies to the looming disastrous consequences of an irresponsible and weak leadership. It will likely one day backfire and will endure as a reminder of a social order built on irresponsibility. 

The most sordid reflex however remains the MSM’s way of denigrating opponents through any means available to them. In this game, there is no friendship, no pity and certainly no loyalty. This is how a lady who is going through the most horrendous of times one can imagine, sees fake stories spun about her, using scraps of information the lady alleges were illegally obtained from a ‘lost’ phone and thrown to the public. Never mind if it is the widow of someone who served them loyally for years, bending over backwards to accommodate their desires and possibly keeping their dirty secrets. Never mind if the lady is already in anguish and is not fighting against any political party but only for justice for her husband. 

This modus operandi is nothing new. We all recall how very private bank records obtained by and from authorised authorities were doctored and read during a political campaign by none other than the prime minister’s mother. No one blinked. No one sensed the danger of the misuse by politicians of information obtained for legal purposes. Today, another lady who came to support the victim is viciously attacked through medical records which may or may not be true. Since when have medical records become public and the property of the government goons? Since when is addiction of any type and fighting it a topic of ridicule? How much lower will some stoop to take their revenge on helpless citizens? 

The silence of those who are paid by us to protect women from all types of abuse is not only a let-down for all women but also reinforces the guilt of those they are trying to protect. As for the women’s associations that mushroom overnight to try and get a boutte before walking back into the oblivion where they were, or those that keep reaping benefits by defending only the powerful, we look forward to hearing from them if the camp attacked retaliates and the powerful are given a taste of their own medicine. 

In the meantime, the frail ladies fighting for justice or supporting its cause comfort us in the belief that there is no need to lose hope in human nature. Dignity and courage are not given to everyone but they still characterise many. Fortunately. 

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