Home Letters Prime Minister lacks credibility to speak at East Indian cultural events
Two news stories emerged out of Guyana recently that are related and equally disturbing. The first is the murder of another East Indian for his jewelry. The second is Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo speaking at an event organized to celebrate 100 years since the end of Indenture Servitude of East Indians.
In the first story, the East Indian who was followed, robbed, and murdered is the brother of the crime chief of the Guyana Police Force. Brother of a police crime chief, he is just another name on a long list of thousands of East Indians who have been beaten, raped, or murdered over the past 30 years during a robbery or burglary.
In the second, the prime minister should not have been asked by organizers to speak at any function regarding the legacy of East Indians. He willfully suppressed his East Indian heritage during the 2015 elections in his enthusiasm to proclaim his Guyanese citizenship.
He has every right to be a proud Guyanese. He has sacrificed more than anyone else for this coalition regime to assume office. However, democracy does not require politicians to suppress any ethnic heritage in order to garner votes. Moses Nagamootoo has no credibility to speak on East Indian heritage, which is significantly more important than his political ambition.
It is this tendency to disrespect East Indian heritage during elections, whether East Indian-owned property is burnt down or East Indian voters are beaten or their votes rigged, that encourages the culture of disrespect to rob, rape, and kill East Indians long after elections are over. It is one and the same culture.
Today, much of the news about crimes being committed against Guyanese is filled with the sound of East Indians being violated. Many robberies and beatings are not reported. Reported or not, little is documented for posterity.
Guns continue to be inserted into the mouths and against the heads of East Indian children while the executive, legislative, and judiciary remain unaffected. East Indians like the late brother of the crime chief are prohibited from wearing jewelry in the public without being stalked and murdered just as wild animals are tracked and executed.
The prime minister knows, having seen many iconic photographs of East Indian Indenture laborers wearing jewelry, that the use of jewelry is an integral part of East Indian culture, attire, and folklore. However, stalking and stripping the East Indians of their jewelry is now an integral part of Guyanese culture, attire, and folklore.
Indeed, the prime minister knows that East Indians are hunted for their gold jewelry. They wear jewelry freely in other countries but not in their native Guyana. If they do, some in Guyana reads that to mean not merely a license but an automatic right to strangle, beat, or kill East Indians.
It is so because the disrespect of East Indian heritage is being taught and encouraged some 100 years after Indenture Servitude ended in 1917. Perhaps, they may have been more secured in their properties and persons on the plantations and boats than they have been in an independent Guyana.