I WAS away for a week, meeting with my African friends with whom I grew up, went to school, ate from one plate, slept on one bed, and wore each other’s clothes. I was, however, keeping abreast with what was taking place on social media, and I usually buy the four daily newspapers.I happened to see a video which went viral, with the Opposition Leader belting out his usual racist attack on the Government, and in particular Messrs Moses Nagamootoo and Khemraj Ramjattan.
This is nothing new; it all started with the Leader of the Opposition on his election campaign way back in his last term in office as the President. What struck me was when he said that Indians were under attack in Guyana; they are being dismissed from their jobs; their lands that are leased, and for which they have certificates of title, are being taken away; and that he would take back the country from “these people”.
To my mind, he is trying to divide this nation and sow seeds of racial disunity among the six races. The PPP was booted out by Indians after being in power for 23 years. The people he was talking to in New York never voted here for his party, so how does he intend to take back the country?
Is he going to fly them back here in 2020 with a special-charter jet plane? Well, of course he has enough money to do that!
I know that the people voted for an end to corruption and an end to fear. The tactics of Jagdeo have proven wrong. The questions are what does the Government do in dealing on a long-term basis with his continued racist messages to the Indians, and in regard to the security question?
Our major groups have more in common, and more that unite than divide them. The Opposition Leader would do everything to undermine in the Indian people confidence in this Government, and to generate fear and make it widespread.
He is opportunistically exploiting the state of Government/state security relationship, and playing on ethnicity and “kith and kin” appeals.
The APNU+AFC coalition has to continue its campaign for a culture of peace and tolerance. It must continue to firmly condemn Jagdeo, Teixeira and Nandlall for fostering divisive politics that would further undermine national cohesion. This requires countrywide condemnation by all Indians against Jagdeo’s racist venom against Africans. We cannot, and will not, let this continue without a struggle.
The Russian poet Yevtushenko once wrote that, for him, the world contained only two nations: the nation of good people and the nation of bad people’. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3: To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. And as one of the earliest sociologists wrote, ‘the institution of racism has disgraced the race, and the physiological peculiarities of the race have perpetuated the disgrace’.