Commemorating… Indian Arrival Day

Well, here we are again – discussing why the PPP governments are dead set against designating May 5th “Indian Arrival Day” – as opposed to the generic “Arrival Day”. After decades of agitation – culminating in some mega commemorations from the turn of the millennium by a group named GIHA – they’d established a Parliamentary Committee to take recommendations from the general public on whether the day should be made a public holiday. Every Indian group that appeared said, “Yes!!”
As the Committee reported to Parliament, “The proposals and counter-proposals supporting 5th May must be seen in the context of Guyana’s realities. Regards, therefore, that: – the call to designate 5th May as a National Holiday was made over 40 years ago, with increased support over time; Indians constitute the majority of the population of Guyana; they have made significant contributions towards the development of Guyana; while there were different assessments as to the nature of, or meaning of, Indian Arrival, all respondents accepted its landmark status as a seminal event that had permanent consequences for all Guyana.”
Unfortunately, PPP’s motion had specifically noted that the Committee was to consider designating May 5th as “Arrival Day” – not “Indian Arrival Day”. And as the Committee noted in a caveat, “While the aforesaid recommendation is in keeping with our mandate, the Committee wishes to note that all the submissions favouring 5th May as a Public Holiday recommended that it be designated “Indian Arrival Day”, as is the case in Trinidad and Tobago.” So, the question remains as to why the word “Indian” is taboo!!
Interestingly, it isn’t a case of “What will the PNC say to make political hay when they tell their base that the PPP is “favouring Indians”! The PNC have made it quite clear that they feel it’s a historical fact that it was “INDIANS” who arrived on that day, and it would be silly – not to mention disrespectful – to lump other groups under one rubric!! It’s one of the FEW instances when the PPP and PNC can make a common cause!! But noooo!!
The whole issue is unfortunate in that it shouldn’t have become an issue!! So, again, why is this so?? Is it because – even though they say they’ve dumped their Marxist dogma – the PPP still feel that talking about ethnic identities would solidify them further?? But no other ethnic group – Portuguese, Chinese, West Indians etc – who also arrived as indentured has taken the opportunity to commemorate their arrival on May 5th!! And every Indian group that “does something” calls it INDIAN Arrival Day!!
Your Eyewitness hopes this year will be the last that this non-issue would be regurgitated, and we can call the day for what it is. Indian Arrival Day!! One love!!

…the British Monarchy??
Your Eyewitness was surprised to read that President Ali’s going up to the Coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey. He hopes he’s been informed of all the protocols that have to be observed in this spectacle!! Where he sits, when he sits – if he sits! – and other such weighty matters!! At the funeral of Charles’s mother, Elizabeth II, some Commonwealth leaders thought they’d be pulling up in their limos to the function – only to find out they were all shoehorned into a bus. So infra dig!!
But as your Eyewitness just said, you gotta know the rules of the game – and they ain’t meant for the hoi polloi! Which is how most of the non-nobles are seen. While Indians may be panned for having a caste system – they could learn a thing or hundreds(!!) from the Brits!! Anyhow, Charles III should be given another medal – to add to the dozens on his chest – for waiting the longest to ascend on the throne.
Lots of others would’ve given up!!

…the next “Day”
It’s not for nothing that it’s called “the Merry Month of May”!! While we may not be traipsing around Maypoles any mo, we certainly have enough holidays – the next one being Independence Day – to make merry!!