Restoration of Dr Rodney’s legacy will help confront PNC’s enduring genius for mischief

Dear Editor,
The Ali Government is right to establish, as a matter of record, that Dr. Walter Rodney was assassinated at the behest of an illegal PNC Government.
The time it has taken highlights the enduring genius for mischief of the assassins, and their relish in distorting public imagination in order to escape accountability.
The legacy of the late historian would help to confront this and the PNC’s enduring genius for mischief.
It would challenge a falsified “history” forced upon a certain section of the public and written by individuals such as Mr. David Granger, who inferred, for example, that in 1981, “Forbes Burnham, Guyana’s first elected President, was installed…” (see “Emancipation: The African-Guyanese Magazine,” Vol. 2, No. 12, p. 39).
Burnham was never “elected.” To say this is to teach that theft is acceptable and legal. Those who now seek to caution the PPP regarding the works of Dr. Rodney should direct their energies to the Granger-style distortion of events. One reads him and finds unmistakably missing the integrity of the efforts so visible in Dr. Rodney’s writings. In the end, a reader gets less history and more imitation of local politics, driven by an underlying agenda to silence certain events.
One who silences certain events in the past does so to invite their recurrence in the future. The recording of electoral fraud is so instructive that an audit of financial records may be helpless without an audit of historical records.
An audit of some of the writings of Mr. Granger would raise questions as to his fitness to hold public office. His historically flawed views about the 1973 elections (see “The New Road”) and reference to the PPP (and traditional supporters, East Indians) as “gangsters”, which he knowingly allowed to be taught to soldiers yearly at the GDF, is a case in point.
One cannot record history accurately by writing inaccurately. His sudden interest in the history of criminal violence between 2000 and 2010 is deliberately crafted to protect the PNC and certain forces, and to level fault at the PPP, state agencies, or civil society.
Incidentally, there is no such thing as the “Troubles” or “Buxton Troubles” in Guyana. These references are illogical and misleading. There is the besieging of Buxton as a platform to topple a democratically elected Government; a failed racist coup d’état. The inventors lost the war they invented in their false underground revolution. This is what occurred historically. This is what is relevant.
On the other hand, the “Troubles” is a reference to the specific decades-long conflict between Northern Ireland and Ireland. It has nothing to do with Guyana, where the criminal disobedience reigned long before the 2001 elections and its aftermath, without concern from the PNC.
Arguably, Dr. Rodney would have recognised the occurrence of the attempted coup d’état; but not Mr. Granger, who customarily disguises African-related violence or criminality. See his paper (“Civil Violence, Domestic Terrorism and Internal Security in Guyana, 1953-2003) in which he is very silent on the 1964 violence at Wismar.
An audit of Mr. Granger’s writings was not done. It was a fatal error, and Guyana paid the price at the elections last year. The wife of Dr. Rodney did her audit, and lamented that her husband’s books are not being read in Guyana. This is precisely due to the falsified history popularised over the past 25 years to protect the PNC from scrutiny.
Finally, the Ali Government must also be commended for its plan to re-establish the Dr. Walter Rodney Chair at the University of Guyana (UG). It would help somewhat to cure the robust efforts by the PNC to keep the historian away from the university.
Indeed, in a two-article booklet titled “Walter Rodney,” Mr. Eusi Kwayana wrote: “The Academic Board of the University of Guyana had already taken its decision to appoint Walter Rodney to the headship of the History department when a certain minister, Hamilton Green, returned from a visit in Tanzania and began to be quoted as saying that he had learned there that Rodney was a ‘security risk’, and had been thrown out of Tanzania.
“Apparently working on these pretenses, Mr. Hamilton Green moved to have Rodney’s appointment rescinded. The appointment was rescinded on the orders of the rulers through the University Council, dominated by a large PNC team headed by Green and including elements of the security forces. This confirmed Rodney’s exclusion from the university of his own native land.”

Rakesh Rampertab