Jagan followed a deeply flawed ideology in the form of Marxism
I refer to a letter by Malcolm Harripaul (Kaieteur News, February 24th, 2011) captioned, “Is the AFC advocating communism and race politics? Simple answer – no.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Malcolm for this letter since it caused me to do some further critical thinking around this entire issue of Jagan’s legacy and where we are in the AFC ideologically.
Jagan has a legacy, albeit checkered, but no one including his worst enemy can deny the fact that he was a good man with good human values. No one can deny that he loved his Guyanese people regardless of race, class, religion or gender. No one can deny that he was financial incorruptible. No one can deny that he had a personal passion to develop Guyana for all Guyanese.
However, Jagan worked within a flawed system. Jagan followed a deeply flawed ideology in the form of Marxism/Communism. Jagan built the PPP firmly grounded in deeply flawed administrative practices, flawed organisational structures, flawed mobilisation techniques and most importantly flawed processes to identify its leaders. These flaws robbed him of his true potential legacy. These flaws caused him to not sack the sticky finger ‘Jagabats’ who stole the taxpayers’ resources very early in the post 1992 Government.
Remember the ‘Stone Scam’ over 17 years ago, that was the beginning of the end for the PPP? All though he was not a direct beneficiary of the ill gotten proceeds, he failed to take corrective measures as President of Guyana and history will judge him accordingly. Those acts over 17 years ago spawned the naked corruption we see today.
The mere fact that he perpetuated the whole concept of democratic centralism where the few at the top, thinks and decide for the many at the bottom, reveals the empirical explanation why the PPP can produce a President like Bharrat Jagdeo with so many flaws and so much incompetence. Democratic centralism provides the evidence to demonstrate why a true nationalist like Dr Roger Forbes Luncheon was denied his rightful place as President of Guyana in 1997 or a Dr. Clive Thomas or a Haslyn Parris or a Prakash Ramjattan or a Rohan Singh or a Raphael Trotman a place in the post 1992 PPP Governments.
However, let it be known that when pedestals are being offered to Guyanese in the Hall of Greatness, Dr. Cheddi Jagan will find his rightful place. I am however, convinced that when Guyana’s history is written over the next 50 years Cheddi Jagan will not get the highest pedestal. Someday, maybe a Ramjattan or a Trotman or a James Bond will get a higher pedestal as a result of their demonstrative actions that fundamentally move Guyana away from race based politics to issues based politics.
I am still to be convinced that David Granger is that transformational leader, capable or equipped to move Guyana to the next level since he is not fully absolved of the dastardly acts that emerged during the 1973 General Election in Guyana. He has done little to explain himself on the PNC rigged elections’ history and thus he is most unpalatable to the former PPP supporters. That is a fact Malcolm you are in the minority that will support a Granger.
If Malcolm took the time to read the AFC’s Action Plan, (which I know he has a copy of) he would have recognised that we have a political philosophy – Liberal Democracy, which has nothing to do with racism or communism. On page 26 of the AFC’s Action Plan it states, “liberal democracy is a political system which attempts to:
1. Defend and increase civil liberties against the encroachment of governments, institutions and powerful forces in society.
2. Restrict or regulate government intervention in political, economic and moral matters affecting the citizenry.
3. Increase the scope for religious, political and intellectual freedom of citizens.
4. Scrutinise demands made by all interest groups seeking special privileges.
5. Develop a society which rewards citizens on merit, rather than on rank, privilege or status.
6. Frame rules that maximise the well-being of every citizen.
Our presidential candidate Khemraj Ramjattan clearly stated that, “Development for Guyana means economic, political and social transformation in the shortest period of time.
This transformation implies not only rapid economic growth, but also political and economic freedoms, eradication of poverty, sustainable and eco-friendly use of natural resources, access to opportunities for all ethnic groups and gender equality.”
The last time I checked this is not communism and race politics Malcolm.
Mr. Ramjattan has passionately advocated for ethnic impact audits for major decisions of cabinet, and this was done on several occasions including at the New York Fund Raiser, which Mr. Harripaul attended.
Thus one can at best be surprised at Malcolm’s perplexed position. What is his agenda?
My direct messaging to the sugar belt was not racist; it was a call to the former PPP supporters to break ranks from that organisation rather than staying at home on Election Day and thus excluding themselves from the process to change Guyana.
The PPP race game of exploiting the people’s racial insecurities with racist messages like “a vote against the PPP is a vote for the PNC” is now null and void with the formation of Guyana largest and only multi-racial party the AFC. We in the AFC are confident enough to put a Trotman or a Ramjattan as our presidential candidate; I dare the PPP to produce an Afro-Guyanese presidential candidate or the PNC to produce an Indo-Guyanese presidential candidate. It will not happen as a result of the racist history of these two parties.
Malcolm there is space in the AFC for all forces who are prepared to free Guyana from the chains of racial, political, economic and social oppression at the hands of the PNC and PPP.
That is why I found myself in the AFC. My role among many is to clearly bury the PNC and PPP tools of racism, rigged elections and Marxism/Communism/Democratic Centralism by living, advocating and educating our people on our philosophy of liberal democracy.
Let me make it clear to Malcolm, the AFC will stamp out that part of Jagan’s legacy that is grounded in Marxism/Communism/democratic centralism and whatever tools of racism that are being used by the PPP and the PNC to secure votes at election time. We in the AFC are on a mission to profoundly change history in Guyana.
But that does not mean we will not use the good human values of Cheddi Jagan in our mission such as lean, clean and mean Government, etc.
After deep consideration, I am of the firm position that Feroze Mohammed was wrong, Janet Jagan was wrong, Donald Ramotar was wrong, Robert Corbin was wrong and the many others who suppressed the progressive forces in the PPP and PNC were wrong.
Prakash Ramjattan, Raphael Trotman and others were only interested in making history for the betterment of the people at great personal sacrifice, but the PPP and PNC took the easy route of continuing to exploit the racist fears of the people and stuck themselves behind the rubbles of the Berlin Wall notwithstanding the Wall had fallen.
Let us make it clear, the AFC is not the PPP or the PNC. The AFC is not the brain child of Cheddi Jagan or Robert Corbin, but is a direct off shoot of the progressive forces in the PPP, PNC and WPA that made a conscious decision to question the old ideas, the old way of thinking and our leaders have resolved themselves to change the development model for Guyana so that it serves the people better.
We in the AFC are building a home for all Guyanese regardless of race, class, creed, religion, ethnicity, or gender. What is communistic or racist about that Malcolm?
I wish Mr. Harripaul well in his support for Mr. Granger and would like to remind him once he can subscribe to the belief of liberal democracy and to the methodology of approaching the Guyanese people on issues rather than race, the doors of the AFC will always be open to him and others.