Ten Thousand Gun Salute | Trinidad and Tobago News Blog

By Rafique Shah
August 22, 2022

A few weeks ago, my cousin Susheela sent me an interesting article on the Internet that was anything but trivial. The author had indicated that generations in recorded history had lived through the most exciting time, based on the facts cited, that people now in their 60s and 60s, born in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, had experienced some of the most dramatic developments man has ever known.

For example, these generations spanned eight decades, two centuries, and two millennia. Ordinarily someone can live to be 90 or even past 100, but see barely nine decades, perhaps straddling two centuries, but most unlikely – not for the next 900 years anyway – two millennia. We – yes, I was born in 1946 – have seen the millennium that began in the year 1001, when men had traveled no more than a few hundred miles at sea in ships that probably relied on slaves or prisoners who brought them back, and later introduced sails propelled by wind and currents in the oceans to take them to strange and foreign lands. Columbus made his first foray westward across the Atlantic Ocean nearly 500 years into this millennium.

Before the end of this second millennium, man had traveled through space in rockets and satellites, he had walked on the surface of the moon, virtually taking up residence in space. And we lived to see multi-billionaire Elon Musk feverishly working to set up passenger service to space.

In our lifetimes, we’ve listened to the news and music broadcast through large, bulky tube radios, watched the first televisions evolve from grainy, black-and-white images emanating from cabinet-sized devices to sleek and small color digital receivers. which are multifunctional. In our time, we have witnessed near-miracles of modern medicine, from life-saving organ transplants to cosmetic surgery that can alter our faces and other features such that our mothers or wives will not recognize us.

Empires have risen and empires have fallen. We have engaged in two world wars. At the outbreak of hostilities on every occasion, in 1914 and 1939, we were assured that this was the war to end all wars. Only it turned out to be lies from leaders who lived by lying to uninformed people who believed them, and instead we had endless wars – cold war, guerrilla war, proxy wars, wars waged by invisible hands unleashing death and destruction via missiles and sophisticated guidance systems that allow the rulers of the civilized world to sip coffee and munch on sweets as they witness their toil, blinding flash, searing heat, deafening explosion that reduce the target area to rubble, shredding bodies to bite-sized pieces of – the targeted mullah evaporating, literally, along with his wife or wives, children, his pets, the whole shebang.

And I sing to myself what a wonderful world…

I guess I should be grateful to the powers that be who allowed me to spend so much time on Earth to witness the bloody paradise they created, blood everywhere. Oh, how can I miss myself, my homeland celebrating its Diamond Jubilee? Sixty years of independence from Great Britain. Look, infidel, look at what you and your brothers and “sisters” have shaped from this bountiful land, a country rich in resources – oil, natural gas, the only paved lake in the world, miles and miles of sugar cane, the best cocoa beans, excellent weather, creative people and much more.

We have reduced it to a wasteland whose natural resources are nearly exhausted, our network of roads resembles the surface of the moon, and our pampered offspring, having structured society in such a way that their expectations are that the state will take care of them from the cradle to the grave, they have expectations that we must fulfill, now we cry bloody murder when they acquire weapons of destruction and begin to demand with threats their tons of flesh.

Most of the younger generations we have inflicted on ourselves (I can’t think of a better word) have destroyed the fatally flawed education system we bequeathed to them, and have adopted the trade of “scrap metal and old batteries” as a profession. of choice, who, by just or heinous means, enriches many of them inasmuch as they derisively despise their former schoolmates who toiled over textbooks late into the night and ended up in jobs poorly paid and often precarious in the private and public sectors.

As we approach the ‘diamond anniversary’ of this nation’s independence, belatedly recognizing that Britain wanted to get rid of us more than we wanted to be free from colonialism, whatever this process means, do we Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that we own and control anything, at least with all our security.

Let’s be realistic. Allow the criminals, our true leaders, to fire a volley of ten thousand illegal shots to mark the occasion. At least this way we face reality even if we don’t save pride.

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