David Granger is a historian and therefore he knows more than most about historiography that goes beyond the cliché about history being written by the victors. He’d know about the groundbreaking work by the Haitian anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillet, whose book Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History opened up the wider public’s eye to the phenomenon of “silencing” and its use in creating narratives by silencing other stories.
“Silencing” as used by Trouillet is not merely inadvertently leaving out facts or because one doesn’t consider them “important” – it’s a conscious, deliberate act intended to deny the “silenced” any agency in history. From that standpoint, silencing is an act of violence – an epistemic one, as pointed out by Gaytri Spivak, since the public is being denied knowledge of the complete truth. Granger deployed “silencing”, when, in the capacity of President of the Guyanese Republic, he delivered the feature address at the dedication of the Indian Arrival Monument (IAM) at Palymra in Berbice.
It was a very comprehensive overview of Indian contributions to Guyana, as Granger took pains to mention Indian Guyanese who were outstanding in various fields of endeavour, he even noted the work of Dr Deborah Persaud in medicine. Persaud left Guyana when she was 16 and achieved fame in 2014 when she was part of a team at Johns Hopkins who confirmed the first “cure” of an Aids patient. Not many Guyanese know of her.
But Granger omitted the field of politics and in doing so omitted the name of Dr Cheddi Jagan, the Indian Guyanese who made the greatest contribution to that field. And it’s not by chance that Jagan was silenced, but because in the narrative Granger wants to construct, to praise Cheddi Jagan would in his estimation diminish his great hero, Forbes Burnham. It’s as plain and simple as that!! It was a mean-spirited act that ripped away the mask of urbanity Granger adopts for the public’s consumption.
How could he not mention the man who was the first to introduce multiracial politics in Guyana with the formation of the Political Affairs Committee in 1947, which fired the imagination of the young intellectuals – urban and rural as with Martin Carter, Eusi Kwayana and Balram Singh Rai? How could he not mention the man who pioneered the People’s Progressive Party and asked Ashton Chase to step aside for the newly-minted lawyer Forbes Burnham, who’d been recommended by the British Communist Party??
But that’s the nub of the problem, isn’t it?? Burnham suffers by comparison with Jagan as so must be silenced!
“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”
…protests over CJIA’s scandal
Your Eyewitness is waiting with bated breath for the “value for money” audit the Auditor General will be conducting on the new CJIA terminal we were supposed to get for shelling out US$150 million!! Your Eyewitness recently left and returned via this boondoggle and believe him, it’s a crying shame what’s been done to us taxpayers – who will be paying through our noses for the next decades. And he’s not even talking about the ADDITIONAL $7000 fee imposed just to rub salt into our wounds!!
If one wants to know what went on – or went down – at Timehri, just look next door at the (loaned) billions of dollars spent on a Chinese company that was supposed to make Venezuela self-sufficient in rice. After bribing local Venezuelan Government officials to the tune of US$100 million, and “investing” in a still uncompleted rice mill, not a grain of rice has been produced after a decade!!
From what we know of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative in other parts of the world, that’s their standard operating practice.
Let the audit begin!!
Your Eyewitness isn’t surprised at what the powers-that-be in our law enforcement agencies have been allowed to get away with on the shooting of the Director of the School of Nations.