The first Easter after the rigid unsuccessful election
Kaieteur News – There are times when you have uncontrollable rage as a parent when your country’s dictatorship system is supported by people whose families are well embedded in stable democratic territories enjoying future lives.
In my 32 years of doing commentary in the print media and for a while on television, I have lived in some social themes. If you read my column often, then you would know that I support the employment of Guyanese in important positions for diaspora people. My argument has been one-dimensional and I have adhered to it.
The crucial point, the only point I made, is that diaspora people cannot enjoy the best of both worlds when locals did not get the opportunities they had; therefore, they will always be more competent and will always be in overly advantageous positions against local people. That to me is unacceptable.
I will not focus on this further in this column but a tremendous fact needs to be mentioned in a pyrotechnical way. As an academic who worked for 26 consecutive years at AS, I, and several dozen colleagues, have never been able to secure even modest funding for research projects and publications because, frankly, AS had no money (and not it still has) for basic functions much less research funding.
While we were starving for money, our fellow graduates who chose not to return home were churning out publications funded by wealthy universities and institutions. And they are so barefoot in their praise of the money, that they get that in every publication, they would indicate which organization funded the research. Professor Ivelaw Griffith, who led AS during the APNU + AFC regime, is back in the US and I challenge him to tell me if he doesn’t receive research grants.
What does this long digression have to do with the heading of this column? Keep up with me as I approach that. I did a daily article on election rigging and in several of them I described my encounters with scared young people who didn’t have a much smaller visa passport to get out of Guyana. I will never forget that cashier who kept asking me if she should go to work tomorrow because she lives up the East Coast and is afraid of electoral violence.
I will never forget the lonely, deserted car park at Giftland Mall last April. Many drivers coming out of Demerara Estates in the back of Gift would stop as they saw me walking my dog. Everyone expressed fear that Guyana was going down. The fear was logical because they lived in Guyana.
Henry Jeffrey’s daughter and my daughter went to the same high school. One night at Julian’s Restaurant in Church and First Streets, Alberttown, I asked him how the girl was. She said she learned to ride horses where she lives in the UK. During the election rig, my daughter was in Guyana living with her parents. She still does.
So finally head this column. There is no other date in the calendar where the ubiquity of crowds is as evident as on Easter Monday. On the occasions of Phagwah and Mashramani, the 10 Regions of Guyana are filled with unlimited numbers but the Easter Monday crowds are thicker and larger and more ubiquitous.
I could not enter the National Park today with my black beauty to walk because it was closed. Thousands would have poured. They closed it due to Covid-19 restrictions. People will enjoy themselves immensely today because their country is free and stable. Now use your imagination and describe Guyana if we were a nation that had no periodic legal elections and one party has complete and complete dominance over the political economy of this country.
During the rig of the election, “Kit” Nascimento told me that a businessman strongly advised Granger not to give up because the election was rigged. This was a wealthy businessman. When Nascimento told me, over the phone, I thought of the children who had to live in Guyana and suffered dictatorial control.
Make no mistake, the violence directed against East Indians over the murder of the two cousins in Cotton Tree, Berbice in September 2020 was linked to a loss of power by the PNC and AFC. One wonders what kind of heart people have who advised Granger to stay in power when seeing how Indians were attacked, robbed and beaten in Region Five. It is heartless to create a dictatorship in your country while your family enjoys a peaceful existence in rich, developed states. “Oh! You flee to a cruel beast. And men have lost their reason ”(Shakespeare).
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this newspaper.)