Guyana badly needs a national political bath

Dear Editor,

The nonsense of our political independence has reached worrying heights. Our children –Amerindians, African, Indians, Portuguese, Chinese, and a melody of mixes – are naturally apt and quick to learn. But the manner in which they acquire their education is not up to par with trends in the developing world. They are exposed to low educational standards and their teachers are not the best, though there are some notable exceptions. They are taught more about Shakespeare than Shaka, more about Galileo than Gandhi. They are quick to emulate and embrace foreign elements but ignore their own because their leaders have done so. Everywhere you go in Guyana you will see that the once dread colonialists are back in different shades and forms buying, selling and occupying properties left and right. They have come to occupy as well as wine and dine in the finest edifices Guyana has to offer. They have the tendency to invite a few locals into their circle explaining to them in discreet terms that this is the rightful place to be. But ask them to close the door behind them because they have earned a seat at their table. Our leaders and the desperate still run to these individuals to solve Guyana’s problems. What is the meaning of independence?

Then there is Georgetown which for some bizarre reason missed being renamed. There are GuySuCo, Guyoil, Guybridge, but not Guytown. However, this city has claimed a name of its own: Garbage Town. Nonetheless, every major institution in Guyana is located in the capital city reflecting a sort of internal colonialism. The rest of the country, including Berbice, has been in a state of perpetual monotony. People there go to bed early and wake up early. If the colonialists were to return, they would certainly recognize Berbice. More than fifty per cent of the people use latrines and open sewage as well as piles and piles of garbage, like Guytown, is a common sight. Yet, the current administration is in power principally because of the votes it receives from this region.

Then there are the media through which many Guyanese have come to express themselves. The print media are described as free as the air. But there are limitations. Open criticism of the government and exposure of peccadilloes are not tolerated. Nowhere in the world does one find an ex-President suing a columnist. Now, we have a Mayor suing a newspaper.

Then there are our politicians who shake hands with the world on daily basis either through direct personal contact, through diplomacy, or through the social media. One would expect that from this experience there should be some impetus for checks and balances and not opportunities to become paternal despots. What we have in Guyana are the politics of the donkeycart instead of democracy; the politics of personality instead of policy; the politics of antagonism instead of achievement. All this means stagnation instead of progress; decadence, dissatisfaction and disintegration instead of determination. We have hit rock bottom in Guyana. What a national shame! What a national nightmare! What a national disgrace! Guyana badly needs a national political bath.


Yours faithfully,
Lomarsh Roopnarine

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