Please permit me to respond to the September 24 letter (‘Indian communities suffer from the same maladies and social pathologies as do African ones’) written by the eminent Mr Annan Boodram. He positions himself as the Indian answer to the academically accomplished Afrocentric Dr Hinds. Both men should take time out and contemplate the Guyanese motto, ‘One People, One Nation, One Destiny.’ Guyana is a poor country whose per capita income is abysmal. All Guyanese are affected by (to use Annan Boodram’s words) “…poverty, deteriorating local infrastructure, unemployment and underemployment, alcoholism, domestic and relationship violence and a growing incidence of drug use.” I suspect the list of maladies affecting Guyana is longer.
The crisis afflicting Guyana requires a Guyanese solution, not a patchwork of policies aimed at elevating narrowly defined ethnic groups. Narrow race-based policies only reinforce perceptions of victimhood and instead of eliminating racial insecurities serve to institutionalize them. Rather, the call must be for rational policies aimed at alleviating the suffering of all.