Civil society group started on the wrong foot

Dear Editor,

Oh Lord! Oh God! Was my first reaction when I saw the notice about the new National Civil Society grouping. It would be an understatement to say I flinched. Also, I found myself in a most unfamiliar place: that of agreeing with the PPP, which termed the thing ‘farcical.’ I now share a little of what I think is positive and negative about this development and its nominees.

There are some good people named, some real impressive individuals. Then there are others. The best that can be said of these others is citizens ought to exercise great care if offered a free second dog from them. Yes, they are that questionable. I would not allow them in church, near children, or close to the weak. It is astonishing that the sterling citizens who have given outstanding service (and selfless service) to this society should not be highly perturbed to be associated in any environment, for any purpose, with the suspect others. This would be especially so for a ‘national civil society grouping’ in a land torn and tortured by division and chronic distrust. I felt that, like me, they would cringe to be around these folks for any reason. I confess that they are stronger than me. Maybe this is just another manifestation of the regular local crowd.

Editor, this body does not have to be perfection in action and from the inception. But for any such body, with such noble objectives, to have a chance of succeeding it must be without taint, and then lack any appearance of taint. This starts and ends with calibre of character (even more than calibre of credentials) of those involved. How easily flexible was/is their thinking? How unselfish has been their track record? What is their road and the mileage, along with lanes, of political travel domestically? Have they been about country first? Or has it been about self? How much have they prospered from convenient politics and political associations? There are more questions, but I think sufficient is furnished.

I say it again: for this country to progress there has to be caring, selfless patriots where it matters. It cannot be one more hustle, another opportunity of positioning with feet in two boats (better make that three boats for some). I believe that this can be a far reaching movement. I believe, though, that it has started on the wrong foot; let there be the guts to remedy internally. Almost three years ago I returned here and felt I am in a strange place; today I feel I am in an even stranger place.

Yours faithfully,
GHK Lall

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