It seems that the Manning administration is willing to adopt the policy prescriptions of old PNM, while rejecting those who served old PNM loyally and some would say blindly.
Mr Jamal posed some pertinent questions that follows on from this rejection of the nomination of Mr. Kamaluddin’s nomination. As reported in the Trinidad Guardian, he asked:
Was his nomination received and considered by the awards committee?
• If not, why not?
• If his nomination was considered and approved, was it forwarded to the Prime Minister and Cabinet for final approval?
• If not, why not?
• If his nomination was forwarded to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, was it considered?
• If the Prime Minister and his Cabinet received the nomination, what possible rationale could there be to refuse the nomination?
• Is it true that only friends of the Prime Minister and the PNM receive awards?
• Remember 1981? When Dr Williams died, Uncle Kamal was supposed to be appointed Prime Minister, since he was the most-qualified and experienced Member of Parliament at the time.
• Uncle Kamal was not appointed for reasons unknown to all, but understood by all. Was the same rationale that was used in 1981 re-used in 2009 to deny Uncle Kamal his national award?
• What message are we sending to our younger generation? Uncle Kamal has given his life for Trinidad and Tobago, yet his country—Trinidad and Tobago—represented by the Government, the State, Patrick Manning administration refuses to recognise his contribution.
• What else must one do to deserve a national award?
Dr. Eric William’s in his speech on the first Independence Day said “Whatever the challenge that faces you, from whatever quarter, place always first that national interest and the national cause. The strength of the Nation depends on the strength of its citizens.” It seems that his successor Mr. Patrick Manning is unable to rise above the narrow confines his own hubris to display magnanimity that would firmly establish a national narrative that is inclusive rather than current one that has the result of national divide along electoral lines. Will the electioneering stop long enough to build a national consciousness?
Speaking to the Trinidad Express Mr Kamaluddin Mohammed said yesterday that he was a humble man, who did not want anything “once the people recognise me”.
The Trinidad Express reports that “Mr. Mohammed declined to comment on the fact that he received no national award despite being nominated by the National Council of Indian Culture. “It (the awards) was in the hands of the committee and the Prime Minister and if they didn’t want to (give an award), I can do nothing about it,” he said, adding that he was grateful to those who nominated him.