I personally find it to be in bad taste not to respect the grieving process for the passing of people, be they lay persons, politicians, government officials or even royalty.
Mrs Janet Jagan represented many things in her lifetime, personally and politically. But what stands out most on her death for me is that she chose to make Guyana her home during the colonial period when America was riding the wave of freedom and flexing its muscles internationally.
It was a personal choice and she paid the price for this choice, being reviled by the West for her political philosophy and her perceived influence on her late husband, Cheddi Jagan and his ideology. She bore this and its effects but continued to fight for Guyana’s independence and changes to the political landscape. Whatever her orientation and political motivations, she was among the core of those who stood up to be counted in Guyana’s fight for self-governance when Great Britain’s policy on decolonisation was in yo-yo motion because of its own political dynamics.
Mrs Jagan’s passing marks an end to the formative political era of Guyana. There will be enough time later to dwell on her political philosophy, its effect on the PPP in particular and the mark she has left on Guyana. Not just her philosophy, but the ideology of Great Britain and later the USA on Guyana. Let’s wear neutral lenses when we want to revisit our history and learn lessons from it.
I would like to express my condolences to the children and supporters of Mrs Jagan. A fitting tribute to her life would be an honest and impartial account of her philosophy for historical reference. Maybe this is something that someone like Ashton Chase who served along with her, could do.