Who Is Khaleel Kothdiwala?
Submitted by Douglas Smith
FROM: Concerned Citizens
TO: The People of Barbados
We have contemplated this letter for some time but have restrained ourselves, believing that the behaviour would cease. However, we were listening to the Down to BrassTacks call-in show on Monday and we were once again assaulted by a contribution of the country’s most popular teenager, one Khaleel Kothdiwala. We recognized that this intervention is essential.
We hear many individuals in this country boldly proclaiming that Kothdiwala is headed to political office at the highest levels, most believing with certainty that he shall ascend to the office of Prime Minister. If this is the case, and he is to lead this country, we feel entitled to some answers to some vital questions.
We well remember his first public speech at the Lower Green some years ago, and the presence of two adults behind him on the stage, who we presume to have been his parents. At a cursory glance, one appears of African descent, and the other Indian. Does this ‘future leader’ of a nation of Blacks identify more as black or Indian? How do this self-identification affect his ability to lead?
Observing that he is partly-Indian, does he accept that many of his people have engaged in rank economic exploitation of black people by buying items and reselling to poor people at exorbitant mark-up? Is he ‘contrite’, as he likes to say, for this occurrence?
Is it true that young gentlemen attended an elite private school at the primary level, where most students are of wealthy, Caucasian extraction, meaning that he would have spent many of his formative years surrounded by rich whites? The entire country is aware that he now attends Queen’s College, considered to be an ‘intellectually elite’ grammar school. Does his and his parents’ choice of schooling show an implicit bias and elitism? Is he the best voice of the black working class?
We are reliably informed by several students at Queen’s College that he is universally-loved there and is in fact their Head Boy. We also know that he has many ‘fans’ in the wider Barbados, who adore his appearance on a CBC youth show and fawn over his various mouthings and writings. Does he recognise that having so many black people almost hero-worshipping someone who looks like him is problematic and unhealthy for the black psyche?
Kothdiwala is well-known for his rabid attacks on a black-led political party as well as notable, successful black people, such as Senator Caswell Franklyn, our hero of democracy. He is perhaps best known for his campaign against the CXC, a black-conceived and black-led regional institution. Does he believe it is healthy that almost his entire fame and popularity is based upon his attacks on black personalities and institutions?
This is not intended as an attack on the young boy. We will leave attacks to him. We merely would like the answers to some key questions that will allow us to determine if he is an acceptable candidate to lead Barbados. We await his response.