Mr Ravi Dev, as his fellow columnist Mr Kissoon declares, is a person of many resources.
In his recent column Mr Dev makes the following broad-banded claim:
“In Guyana the debate involved opposition elements that insisted the PPP government was a fascist, racist, ‘elected dictatorship’ and that the party supporters, who are generally Indians, were directly responsible for the claimed excesses of the government.”
As one who claims that there can be, and is in Guyana an ‘elected dictatorship,’ I find the argument curious. We are dealing with a writer who is not shy of reading meaning into what others write or say.
As a lawyer he reads merit or malice into what he reads to suit his argument. He now says that opposition elements have “insisted” that the PPP “a fascist… claimed excesses of the government.”
So if you blame the PPP for acting in a certain way and deem its actions to be an ‘excess,’ Mr Dev will find as follows: that the PPP’s actions you complain of were in defence of its supporters, “who are generally Indians” and that the comment also means that the supporters are responsible. This is so whether the comments mention the supporters or not.
Mr Dev is therefore creating a kind of standing missile defence system around the PPP to save it, the PPP from attack. The system is made up of words and the concept that if you attack the PPP you are anti-Indian since the PPP represents its supporters, who according to him – “are generally Indians.”
This shield around the PPP is not of his original design. Mr Dev does not waste time being original. He is so rich in precedents and models that he does not need to be original. He dismisses anything novel. As Mr Kissoon remarked recently, Mr Dev does not attack some of the most blatant cases of extremist language and sentiment, in part because he may not read the Chronicle.
If Kissoon is right, a responsible, major and influential columnist in a popular daily, writing on the justice or injustice of public exchange cannot claim not to read the government newspaper in a state so frequently inflicting abuses on the public.