Ever since the Kabaka Lock up this Crap at Camp Ayanganna.
am ashamed at the way Guyanese East Indians behaved
During the 2015 election campaign, I did journey with the Alliance For Change but technically and legally, I campaigned for the APNU-AFC coalition. Realistically, you had to belong to one of the six units that made up APNU or the AFC. I am not a member of any party, but I did battle from within the AFC.
One day during the early period of the campaign, Leonard Craig, the AFC logistics officer, asked me into his office. Former AFC parliamentarian Trevor Williams was there in the room. Craig said there was a problem with my geographical placement at public meetings in certain parts of Region Four.
He said that a certain Region Four AFC campaign manager did not want me to speak in Indian areas because I would be too harsh on Indians and that may not be strategically wise. He said she would prefer me to address African villages in her sphere of operations.
Trevor Williams intervened and argued that the AFC had three top Indian speakers – me, Moses Nagamootoo and Khemraj Ramjattan – and it was imperative that we speak to Indians all over Guyana. Craig agreed.
I couldn’t understand the lady’s analysis because outside of her geographical sphere, elsewhere in Region Four, Indians were very warm towards me. Up the East Bank, in Berbice and Region Three, Indian people were very receptive of me. The villages are too numerous to mention. But in four places in particular – Black Bush Polder, Strathavon, Sarah Johanna, Goed Bananen Land – I had fantastic interactions with Indians.
Too many times middle class Georgetowners view the rural folks with urban lenses. We tend to make interpretations of the countryside without actually studying how those people think. I never encountered a pugilistic attitude to me among Indians anywhere in Guyana.
The label of me being hostile to Indian Guyanese began among certain Georgetown Indian racists and the PPP for obvious reasons. It began during the 2006 election season. Ravi Dev made that into his mantra. At the time he wrote for the Kaieteur News. He is now a policy-maker at the Guyana Times.
After the results of the 2006 elections, in one of my columns I wrote that I was ashamed to be East Indian after the way Indians voted for the reelection of Bharrat Jagdeo. In 2006, as an Indian, you could have been justified in your criticism of many African leaders in the PNC in the past, but you could not justify Jagdeo’s continuation after 2006.
Mr. Jagdeo, from 1999 to 2006 when the election was due, had exhibited frightening traits that were ominous for Guyana’s future. He was given five more years. By 2011, Guyana was in a vortex of moral and legal decline. Berbicians redeemed themselves by the way they voted in 2011.
Then came 2015 and Jagdeo returned. He took over the strategy and rhetoric of the PPP campaign and the beast that resides so closely next to the human heart in Homo sapiens flowed freely in the 2015 elections. If in 2006 I wrote that I was ashamed to be East Indian, then I feel the same way now that I have the station by station results in front of me for the 2015 poll.
I would like to ask that lady in the AFC if I caused Indians to vote the way they did in May 2015 or if I didn’t exist would the results have been different? Political analysts have found a gold mine with the 2015 election results. The PPP lost the election because a small percentage of Indians made the difference. The APNU-AFC coalition won by just one percent.
The PPP picked up 38,000 more votes than in 2011. In Regions One, Eight and Nine the PPP received 6,167 more Amerindian votes than in 2001. That leaves 32,000 votes to account for. Let us be generous and say the PPP got 3000 more African Guyanese votes than in 2001. It means 29,000 more Indians voted for the PPP.
Why is this a scary situation? Two reasons can be offered. One is very fundamental. The PPP had five consecutive victories and after twenty-three years, poor Indians, a majority of rural Indians were not socially elevated. Add this to a terrible crime pandemic. Add further the horrible character of the leaders and you have a simple reason for voting them by a landslide.
The second reason was that Moses Nagamootoo was in the race and none of the PPP leaders could have matched his integrity. In 2015, Indians chose to vote self-destructively. It cannot be justified. On May 12, I was ashamed to be an East Indian.