The membership of the Alliance for Change (AFC) best represents the political dysfunction it was established to fix: disillusioned PPP/C and PNCR supporters with different empathies and perhaps even different notions of right and wrong, and once the African PNCR hijacked the AFC those schisms diverged and ultimately clashed, and thus we have the case of Mr. Charrandas Persaud (AFC: hijacked. SN: 08/11/2017).
Mr. Persaud lived in the sugar belt and one of the most offensive acts of the coalition government and the clearest sign of the lack of empathy for those of Indian ethnicity occurred when it threw 7000 sugar workers on the breadline with the bogus claim that such an extreme act was necessary to reform the sugar industry. I argued (SN: 13/12/2017) that ‘One must have to be a dolt to believe that the treatment at present being meted out to the sugar workers is because the country cannot afford to keep them at work. One only needs to ask oneself if these workers would have been treated in this manner had the PPP/C been in government, to which the answer would be a resounding no’, and the country would not have been significantly worse off. While reform of the industry is badly needed, the reform process needed to be done with a human face and that is partly what came back to haunt the coalition in the form of Charrandas Persaud, who on a daily basis had to live amidst the resulting squalor. ….