One of the distinctive things in President Obama’s journey to the White House is the fullest of support and the visibly active participation of his beautiful wife. The journey to the most powerful position on earth saw the equal importance of the woman ‘other half,’ and the united front of gender equals in the sacred ideal of matrimonial importance. The onlooker gets the picture that the two halves make one; a kind of completeness. The role of the woman is visible and profound in this instance, as if without her his journey to the platform of world leader would not have been possible.
Most leaders will appear before the world with their wives at their sides. This is more than mere protocol; more of a divine requirement. A completeness. The ultimate balance! The nurturer complements the protector. This I believe is even evident in dictators.
I have hesitated to comment on President Jadgeo’s insult to the sacredness of matrimonial responsibilities, and the unforgivable lie to an entire nation in which I think Varshnie Singh was fully complicit, and which was allowed to go un-noticed throughout the greater part of his presidency. In fact, I might be tempted to opine that the nation is complicit in this embarrassing scandal.
It would be a lie to rewind the hands of time to the beginning of this deception, without remembering the rumours of an arrangement of convenience. The doubts went unchecked for all those years. It was shocking to know that it was never a lawful commitment. One would have been led to speculate that Varshnie may have been a wife of convenience, nevertheless, a legitimate wife. What took Varshnie Singh so long to come clean with the truth? Why did she travel the world as First Lady and carry the title of someone she was never legally the wife of. I recalled having an interview with her at the Guyana High Commission in London some years ago. Kids First Fund, a charitable organization she founded, was taking Guyanese children with heart conditions, to India. One adult was listed on that trip. She had asked me to exclude the adult male, in my story. Further, I had asked her about speculations that her marriage to Guyana’s president was on the ‘rocks.’ She declined to comment.
This entire fiasco of an unregistered wedding by the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana is most unfortunate. The world has no respect for Guyana. So, as people in the diaspora ask the question of what happened when the truth came out, I could only bow my head and say, ‘nothing.’
Andaiye, a prominent women’s activist, on a recent trip to London, did an interview with the Voice, a leading black newspaper in the United Kingdom. Actually the purpose of her visit was to attend a conference on women’s rights. I wonder why no mention of Mr Jadgeo’s treatment to Varshnie Singh?
Guyana must revisit this issue and give it the attention it requires and the justice it deserves.