I welcome Mr David Granger’s call for inclusionary democracy and a government of national unity. Given Guyana’s history of politically instigated ethnic division, I am not surprised though, that the reactions on social media to Mr Granger’s call have been dominated by expressions of puzzlement and confusion, even hostility. As a supporter of Pro Guyana, perhaps sharing my own thoughts may provide some clarity.
As it is presently, there are no problems unique to any ethnic group; poor Indo-Guyanese are suffering under the yoke of this elitist regime as are working class Afro-Guyanese, marginalised Indigenous peoples and others. Guyanese political leaders can make efforts to fix the current, presently existing problems; they cannot change the past.
Mr Granger’s obvious efforts to champion the cause of all oppressed citizens is to be commended. Unfortunately, divisive political forces, opposed to unity, have been successful in conditioning many minds to reject attempts to create unity. Such forces want us to believe that an “Indian leader” should represent only “Indian” interests, and an “African leader” has some special responsibility to Guyanese who view themselves as black. This sort of thinking makes no sense. Guyana does not need an Indian political leader; we are not living in Mumbai. Similarly, our country has no use for an African politician. Instead, we need Guyanese leaders who understand our common problems and are willing to propose and champion innovative solutions.
The Opposition Leader’s demonstration of his understanding of the plight of all Guyanese, regardless of ethnic identity, is a step in the right direction. Inclusion of all Guyanese does not, by any stretch of the imagination, imply the abandonment of more traditional supporters of Mr Granger’s party. It is important that we accept these truths if we are to progress as a people.
Finally, a government of national unity does not mean a political coalition; it implies instead, that everyone would be welcome to contribute to national development, regardless of political affiliation. In other words, a national unity government would welcome the participation and contribution of any Guyanese qualified for the job, regardless of which party that citizen supports.
Editor, division, exclusion and the winner-takes-all mentality have not done any good for Guyana; is it not time to try a different approach?