It was difficult for the Alliance to reach the Indian rank and file in time

Dear Editor,

Allison Garnett’s questions in her letter captioned “The AFC did not attract many Indian votes” (07.10. 30) seem puerile, and out of place.

Assuming Ms Garnett is a supporter of the AFC, it is Ms. Garnett’s responsibility as it is Mr. Ramjattan’s and Mr. Trotman’s to woo Indian as well as other ethnic groups to the AFC. I would like to know what has Ms. Garnett done to convince Indians that the AFC is a viable party for them.

The strategy for convincing Indians (and other ethnic groups) should not be the purview of one man; it is the job of the party! (The AFC should take a page out of Rodney’s WPA, when Indian leaders spoke out fiercely for the African interests, and African leaders did likewise for the Indians).

I pointed out in an earlier letter that because the AFC came out of the election running blocks late, they lacked the time and resources to reach the Indian rank and file, and do the footwork to be in villages, bottom houses, and places to meet the ordinary working class Indian. I indicated that the language used in TV and other media particularly catered more to the urbanites in the country; the ordinary rural Indian simply could not connect.

(I have known of many Indians who were disenchanted or indifferent with the PPP, and wanted to switch to another party. When I mentioned the AFC, many ordinary folk on the East Coast Demerara did not know who the leaders were – two weeks before the elections.

I am pleased that the AFC has elucidated its ‘support’ for Indians’ concerns, when they were a presence during the recent Corentyne gun onslaught, and spoke up against the forces at hand for not doing enough to combat crime meted out to the residents of that area.

This is certainly a welcome thrust, and is a step in the right direction to accentuate the AFC’s profile, that it is a party for the ordinary Indian as well.

Ms Garnett is discomfited that Ms Allison Mohamed has been put into a leadership position even though most of the voters for the AFC were “PNC traditional voters”. (Ms. Garnett should know that Indians also voted for the AFC. I personally know of many Indians who gave bold support to that party in the last election)! Ms. Mohamed’s appointment can be compared to the appointment of Condoleezza Rice, in the Bush adminstration. Even though relatively few Blacks voted for the Republican Party, George Bush Jr. thought it wise to appoint a Black US Secretary of State; this was a deliberate act to portray the Republican Party as being mindful of minority interests!

Whose interests will Ms. Mohamed be championing? Like Condoleezza, it would be infantile and foolish for her to champion the concerns of only certain voters; her championing is being seen as championing (American) national interests!

May the AFC be a party touching all ethnic Guyanese, and especially going the extra mile to let (‘neglected’) groups know that the AFC has their interests at heart.

Yours faithfully,

Devanand Bhagwan

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