The extension of greetings to the Guyanese religious communities on the occasions of religious events of deep significance can be expected from politicians and political parties as routine public relations; patronizing interventions with the aim of scoring political points, however cheap. Many believers of the faith-based religions of our people of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and others are not impressed with such empty statements.
The politicians use some generalized message associated with a religious event to project a self-centred image of tolerance and respect. Many question the sincerity and motives of these political operatives, unmindful perhaps of the deep religious and theological interpretations of these events.
This Christmas 2017, we can expect the usual public relations platitudes from our elected and appointed high public servants of the Guyanese people ‒ servants not lords of the people. Public officials are expected to function with a deep sense of servanthood to the people, and with high integrity in obeying the Constitution and the laws of Guyana. Those in public office are required to discharge their public duties as servants of the people in a fair, openly transparent, inclusive and participative manner, and must be subject to personal and public accountability at all times, without lies and deception in the discharge of their public duties, all in the best national interest.
Members of the governing authorities of the executive and the National Assembly, and other public servants, instead of extending Christmas greetings to the nation in our politically divisive and polarized context which is laced with political venom, should extend the message of Christmas to each other in the executive and National Assembly. The Christmas message of hope, peace, joy and love can be extended to each other in the governing authorities, who are called in the national interest to genuinely practise these in the daily conduct of the people’s business. It can serve to imitate genuine national reconciliation and healing in our badly wounded political culture.
What a great and wonderful Christmas gift to all the people of this fair land of ours! Let the Speaker and the members of the National Assembly, ministers of government in the executive, and all in public office lead by example and be worthy role models in Guyana.
Samuel J Goolsarran