Commentaries on Independence struggle racially aligned

Dear Editor,
In browsing through the dailies, almost every commentary pertaining to the struggle for British Guiana’s Independence has been polarised or influenced by race and party with Afro writers praising PNCites (African figures) and Indo-writers praising PPPites. It is indisputable that Dr Cheddi Jagan was the leading figure in the struggle for Independence, hence the title the Father of the Independence Struggle. Forbes Burnham was also a leading figure in the struggle, but his anti-Jagan, anti-Indian, anti-socialist, and anti-PPP positions resulted in the delay of the colony’s Independence. It was his sister Jesse, who exposed his machination collaborating with the imperialists in order to delay Independence and establishing the situation whereby he would take the colony to Independence.
Burnham does not command much respect among progressive forces who blame him for the racial conflict in Guiana during the 1960s and subsequently. He is also viewed as an ally of imperialist forces since he was on the payroll of the CIA and collaborated with British intelligence to create racial disturbances in Guyana.
Recently, Elton McRae, in a letter mentioned the names of “Martin Carter, Sydney King, Hubert Critchlow, Burnham, Winifred Gaskin, Kendall and John” as the leading figures in the struggle for Independence.  While all of those who fought for Independence cannot be mentioned in a short missive, at least the towering personalities like Cheddi and Janet Jagan should have been mentioned. Cheddi and Janet Jagan, Rudy Luck, Moses Bhagwan, Pandit Ramlall, Nasrudeen (all five of whom  spent time in jail for advocating for Independence); Yacoob Ally; Boysie Ramkarran; Fenton Ramsahoye; Ashton Chase; Brindley Benn; JB Singh; Latchman N Singh; CV Nunes, etc – were far more instrumental in Guyana obtaining its Independence than some of the names McRae mentioned.
It is noted and in public records that Burnham was criticised for collaborating with Britain and the US to delay Independence. Critchlow was initially for Independence, but then had a change of heart when Jagan and the PPP would have taken the colony to Independence, a move he opposed; Critchlow also opposed adult universal suffrage, according to Jagan, saying he could not support all adult Indians getting the right to vote.
Writers should try to focus on facts and give credit to all figures – regardless of ethnic and party affiliation – who partook in the liberation movement.

Yours truly,
Vishnu Bisram