I refer to a letter by Mr Gokarran Sukdeo in SN of June 14, headlined, ‘Green and the PPP are the problem not the solution.’ He wrote the following of Dolly Hassan: “I always admired her writings – always refreshingly interjected with creative metaphors and images…Dolly admitted she was not conversant with the day-to-day politicking in Guyana… she still cherishes the memories of the indomitable Cheddi Jagan and what was then the PPP.”
First, I confess that before the letters in the press came out on the Opposition Leader’s visit to Richmond Hill, I didn’t know who Dr Dolly Hassan was. Forgive me if I sound chauvinistic, but I have spent my entire adult life in academia reading people’s writings on Guyana, and I am familiar with a majority of those productions.
But I have never read an analytical piece on Guyana by Dr Hassan. It could be that Mr Sukhdeo meant writings by Dr Hassan on subjects not related to Guyana
Secondly, it would be impertinent for any human to deny someone their right to admire another person. If you are African-American and you admire Chinese music and don’t listen to Beyonce that is your right. So I would not comment on Mr Sukhdeo’s admiration for Dr Hassan, but as an educated man (he wrote that he went to UG) one would expect him to be capable of detecting analytical weaknesses and fictions in people’s polemical exchanges of people. If Mr Sukhdeo read what Dr Hassan wrote then he would know that it was not quite accurate when she told him that she was not familiar with the “day-to-day politicking in Guyana.” Or maybe she was, but chose to write silly things about the two opposition parties and the Mayor.
For a person not familiar with Guyana’s politics, Dr Hassan is bold to make the following statements: (1) The PNC destroys its credibility by criticizing “every single act of the PPP” and blaming the PPP for every problem. (2) Both the PNC and AFC are parties that do not have the maturity and wisdom to govern. (3) Guyana has a garbage problem and Mayor Green is to be blamed for it. (4) The parliamentary situation is one in which the politicians are running around like bullying schoolboys.
How does Dr Hassan know all these things if she does not take an interest in what happens in Guyana? If that is true then how can she write these things? She must know that she opens herself to the charge of penning nonsense. Surely Mr Sukhdeo cannot be that naïve. My motive for writing this letter is to point out to Mr Sukhdeo that Dr Hassan has a credibility problem that he must face up to. On a related matter, Dr Hassan did say in her letter that she knew Dr Jagan from the seventies and eighties. This is the problem with the folks in Richmond Hill. These people left in the seventies and eighties and took with them the memories of a brave Dr Cheddi Jagan fighting an unpopular PNC government. And they have been stuck in that world for the past forty years. They see Guyana in 2014 with the identical lenses that they viewed it forty years ago. And it doesn’t matter if you are as educated as Dr Hassan or just a semi-literate labourer.