Despite a late verbal invitation issued at 4:30pm for me to attend Social Cohesion Day observances on May 11, 2018, I decided to follow the passion in my heart and soul and attend.
At the core of my personal philosophy lies the belief that social cohesion is essential to national unity, something that is sadly missing in our society. This is why I commend this Government for introducing a Ministry of Social Cohesion that could possibly heal the wounds in our society.
I believe in one world society where people are judged, not by the colour of their skin but by the contents of their character. This can only be achieved if there is unity among our people, the ability to see beyond race and class.
I was moved when President David Arthur Granger announced the establishment of the Ministry under Honourable Minister Amna Ally and I immediately pledged, with all my strength, passion and fervour, to support this Ministry in whatever way I can.
Minister Ally often invited me to functions held by her Ministry, but this changed when the Ministry changed hands to fall under the portfolio of Honourable Minister George Norton.
I do not know if it is his staff’s fault, but it hurts me that Minister Norton seems to sideline me or invite me as an afterthought to events that promote peace and harmony.
Nevertheless, apart from being taken aback by the late invitation, when I attended the recent social cohesion event at the National Cultural Centre, I found that it was well organised and artfully stage-managed to ignite patriotism in the hearts of the audience.
The skills of the students, actors and actresses were most pertinent and well-refined. It was brilliant, well programmed and choreographed, and it stirred the nationalistic emotions of even the most hardened detractors of the government of the day.
They were moved by the uplifting philosophies that were shared at the event, on community, unity and national cohesion. It was a noble attempt to show, in an artistic way, that no single race or group of people can move Guyana forward alone.
In fact, none of the people who were here for millions of years or hundreds of years, or those who came in between, or those who just arrived can move Guyana forward by themselves. But together, if we are able to join forces and pool our strengths, we can uplift Guyana and take it to greater heights.
I was profoundly moved by this vision. It brought tears to my eyes because I am a true patriot of my country and people and even the universe and all humanity.
This is the spirit that moves in this vessel of God that I carry as a body, the power of the spirit that moves my mind and my pen to call for a cohesive community, God willing.
The message of Minister Norton and also of Honourable Prime Minister and First Vice President Moses Nagamootoo was truly riveting and could move the conscience of our haters and unpatriotic individuals.
The event featured a theatrical scene depicting two lovers, an Amerindian young lady and young man of mixed descent. This was heartrending because it highlighted the reality that inter-racial relationships exist in our country and these could foster love and peace among people from different backgrounds.
I truly am pleased with this programme and it is my hope it was recorded so that digital recordings could be sent to all the schools in this country. There should be many uplifting shows like this throughout the country to help to educate our students, our youths for the good of our future, our Guyana.
Guyana has no place for racism, political prejudices or contempt for our culture. Good or evil, respect or disrespect originates in the home. Youths exposed to wholesome values could even help to change the mindsets of relatives in their homes.
Hajji Roshan Khan Snr.