The promise of 1950

This is an appropriate time, on the occasion of the celebration of Guyana’s 48th Independence Anniversary, only two years before age 50, to begin the assessment of our condition as an independent nation and try to assess the future. Such a discourse is even more urgent at this time when it must be clear to all that Guyana’s post-independence political dispensation is poised for a transformation. While politicians contend with the pressures of managing, or even acknowledging, new political developments, leaving frustration in their wake, there is no doubt that change is upon us – change so dramatic that it will transform our political landscape.

The discourse could begin by asking the question: What did a shovelman (Fred Bowman), a Hindu Priest (Pandit Misir), a lawyer of Chinese heritage (Rudy Luck,), a dentist (Cheddi Jagan), a lawyer and a Guyana Scholar (Forbes Burnham), a transport supervisor and trade unionist of mixed but dominant European extraction (Frank Van Sertima), a school teacher (Sydney King), a mixed heritage transport worker (Ivan Cendrecourt), a woman optician (Sheila La Taste), an American-born woman (Janet Jagan) and a trade unionist (Hubert Critchlow), mostly young people, have in common? These are 11 of the 22 General Council members of the PPP of 1950, chosen at random.

The General Council laid the foundation for our modern political development by mass mobilization, demanding universal adult suffrage, independence and socialism. As the true founding fathers and mothers of our nation, by merely coming together from such disparate backgrounds, they sent a message that a successful political movement in  …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.



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