…and social history
Acting President, Vice President, Prime Minister and Minister of Information Moses Nagamootoo couldn’t make it to the Arrival Ceremony at the Monument Gardens. Your Eyewitness doesn’t know why he stayed away, since the organisers took pains to emphasise it wasn’t “Indian” Arrival Day. Nagamootoo, of course, had rather ostentatiously emphasised in NY he wasn’t “Indian”, but “Guyanese”.
Last week he allowed he was “Madrassi” – by which your Eyewitness figured he was alluding to his cultural roots since he was speaking in a “Kali Mai” Mandir. Since no one thought he was a citizen of India, one wonders what the fuss in NY was all about. Anyhow, he was represented by Vice President and leader of the AFC Khemraj Ramjattan.
Referring to the preceding speech by former Speaker Ralph Ramkarran who gave a rather ponderous historical account of the trials and tribulations of the indentureds, Ramjattan took a swing at Ramkarran’s exposition. He claimed while history has its time and place, as “Guyanese”, folks ought not to “linger” over the past. Ramkarran, it must be admitted – on the evidence of the fidgeting audience as he spoke – did not only linger but “tarried”.
But in addition to criticising, Ramjattan offered a suggestion to “Guyanese” in the form of an extended analogy as what folks ought to do at these “commemorations” of events past. “Like a chauffeur in every car, we must watch that windscreen in front of us so that we can keep our eyes as to where we want to go. You simply can’t remain watching that rear-view mirror – you’re going to crash!”
It would seem VP Ramjattan believes these “ethnic lingerings” on history are rather dangerous to being “Guyanese” – with all the manglings and carnage these “crashes” produce. Well now that Arrival Day’s behind us, and Emancipation Day lies ahead, we wonder whether VP Ramjattan will repeat his warnings to the Guyanese who participate in that “lingering” come Aug 1.
After all, from Ramjattan’s perspective, the greatest “lingering” of them all has to be the call for reparations. We can just hear him asking as to why the descendants of African slaves are looking in the “rear view mirror” and stirring up trouble. Why upset the Brits who just dangled some cash as grants for “infrastructure?” If they look straight ahead, they could kiss and make up and the Brits wouldn’t even have to say “sorry”.
But seriously folks, it’s this refusal to study and reflect on the past that has this government in general looking so incompetent – and in particular the Public Security Ministry.
Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.
The PM’s shill whinged in the Chronic about this newspaper’s coverage of his boss, Nagamootoo. But, he sniffed, “It is not my orientation to give credence to the constant harangue of the Guyana Times…” “Not his orientation?” Why’s he dragging gender issues into this matter… we’ve never questioned his “orientation”. Jeez… your Eyewitness even defended “working girls” who some feel are beyond the pale.
Anyhow he then went on to complain Times has a “plan to systematically pillage the reputation of the Prime Minister.” “Pillage?” Well last time we looked in a dictionary, “to pillage” was “to rob violently of money and goods”. All Guyana knows by now the PM staked his reputation on money ($1.7M per month) and goods (refurbished, air conditioned mansion, SUV’s etc). But even though we’ve knocked him for collecting the said money and goods – while government workers, promised a “significant raise” got a pittance – he’s still in possession of those money and goods, nuh?
But a shill gotta earn his keep.
The government’s audit of the Berbice Bridge highlighted the return on the NIS investment in Preferred Shares was “only 2%”.
It didn’t say the much maligned owners’ common shares never delivered a penny to them over the past eight years.
We wonder why?