Another week of political scandals and machinations has elapsed and there isn’t much we can do except ratiocinate even the direst of the events that occurred. We witnessed our freedom of expression laws being eroded in the most ruthless manner, we read about a high ranking official slut shaming a woman he’d been sexting and an MP publicly excoriated a female journalist by implying her gender is inferior. These are just some of the new developments in the political arena, notwithstanding the reams of scandals that have already defined this administration.
Three journalists were apprehended in the wake of Ravi Yerrigadoo’s resignation as Attorney General, after Hussein Abdool Rahim alleged that they were implicated in a smear campaign against the latter. The laws are so bendable when they’re in favour of the politicians, which means that they get to indulge in their petty shenanigans and wreak havoc on their detractors. But the fact that our law officials are anything but unbiased in this situation means that anyone who isn’t a politician has a lot to contend with should they dare take advantage of our freedom laws. A politician can make death threats in broad daylight and that’s the end of it, but a journalist mustn’t ask answers, which essentially negates the whole purpose of their occupation.
What’s more, we’ve become totally attuned to the flow of scandals being unveiled, so much so that they’re now perceived as local entertainment. The lack of transparency within the government and the justice department has given rise to the ambiguous practice of throwing people under the bus without impunity. This has been the legacy of our country; politicians (the people who you’d expect would be well versed in our constitution) are often embroiled in legal affairs that would befit only a hardened criminal’s CV.
The press faces lofty challenges in disseminating information among the masses, in the guise of those bendable laws that can be used against them anytime a politician takes offence at a jibe. For precautionary reasons, journalism has devolved into verbatim translation, which doesn’t leave room for existential debates. And when they do delve deeper, they face appalling opposition from those who’ve been elected to oversee the rule of law.
As long as the scandals are approached with levity, we’re not addressing the crux of the problem-politicians are above the law.