3 Things I Disagreed With In The 2009 Trinidad & Tobago National Awards Ceremony

"Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment."

As happens on every Independence day, outstanding Trinidad and Tobago nationals are recognized for their unintended contributions to the improvement of our small but great nation.

This year's 2009 Awards ceremony was funny but not laughable. I totally disagreed with a couple of the Excellence Awards handed out. Ok maybe, I should let it rest because there is nothing to be done about it now. And I know some would think that I'm not patriotic but it's exactly why I take my position. I'm not squeamish about an unpopular positions.

First, I don’t think that a fighter, a boxing champion, should have been awarded the highest award in the land. Don’t get me wrong, I loved her, and shedded a little tear when she met her untimely demise but what message does it send to our youths? Ah, is it suggesting that our youths take example and maybe box or fight their way to the pinnacle of our society's recognition? Maybe not but...

Her posthumous award did nothing more than provide an example of another bureaucratic insensitive decision. There are more than one living sports personality who could have been honored. Of course, she should have been recognized but…

My second disagreement was with the awards was the one given to a mature housewife who single handedly reversed a potentially violent situation by overpowering an armed perpetrator. I think that what she did was very courageous, reactive and in my opinion she did a very stupid thing.

It may have saved her life and she was extremely fortunate that she survived that attack. However, in the interest of her own safety and the safety of the hundreds of potential victims her "heroic "act should not have been held up as an example for anyone to follow. Her attacker has not yet been convicted of a crime and with our criminal justice system the way it is who knows.

Maybe, I’m wrong, and maybe she did something that anyone in the same situation should think of doing?

My final observation and perhaps the most controversial is that there were too very few awards to people of East Indian descent, (3 out of 21 is not enough).

Frankly, this is the only reason I paid attention to the National Awards Ceremony. Jack Warner, a local magnate and politician had made a public request before the ceremony, that more attention be paid to the contributions of the East Indian community.

Now, let me go on record by saying that I hardly ever agree with him but this one time I did. East Indians have contributed and are still contributing in every sphere of life in Trinidad and Tobago and should be recognized for their contributions. Awards are not cash, it's a token that could mean the world not only to the recipient but to the people that person represents, 60 seconds of national attention. Nothing would have been lost by sharing the accolades.

Now if I was an East Indian, I could be accused of being selfish and maybe even racist but fortunately, I'm only human and innately sensitive to institutionalized "stupidness".

Thanks to blogging I'm able to say; I disagree.

How about you, do you agree or disagree?

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