How dare Nestor question this Ministry’s “positive mindset” towards Mashramani?
The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport feels constrained to comment on a letter on page 5 of your Tuesday 24th January 2012 edition, captioned “THE PPP/C’S DESCRIPTION OF MASHRAMANI AS A “WINE-UP AFFAIR IS A LONG-HELD VIEW BY THAT PARTY.”
To state that this Ministry is disappointed with Lurlene Nestor’s fundamental arguments would be an understatement. The current Minister, who was not around to be responsible officially for the Mashramani Festival in the first decade and a half after 1992, is sufficiently seized with the history of the national celebratory event to be in a position to REJECT Ms. Nestor’s mis-information.
In passing, we wonder at the fact that, in this still-post-election period, there are those political types who would essay to POLITICISE even our beloved National Anthem, we suppose. Is it still the “season” to score cheap political points, when time should be better spent in promoting cohesion and productive partnership?
Whoever in the PPP administration in 1992/93 contemplated “banning” Mashramani?
Conceding that the government should be the vanguard in rationalizing, defending and promoting national celebrations, and also noting then Minister Dale Bisnauth’s remarks about the Mashramani Festival were taken out of context and exploited, the question or issue that is relevant is: can a government always convince certain groups, with their own moral, religious, spiritual, cultural, even political preferences to participate in events which would often not be their (first) choice?
Whatever the celebration or occasion they usually exercise their options with no influence whatsoever, especially when they are from an older generation with their own peculiar type of values.
Now that this current Minister and Ministry seek to broaden the scope of the Mashramani Festival in order to provide various segments of the population with a variety of events in which to participate, the effort attracts Nestor’s propagandistic and negative criticisms, so blatantly baseless.
Did the genuine, indefatigable, successful efforts of Minister Gail Teixeira, who took Mashramani Calypso Competitions and other events to every Region of Guyana, “disgrace” or “demonize” this national annual celebration?
Did (and do) the infusion of millions of dollars, over the years, to subsidize many competitions and events indicate a government, or an agenda, intending to sabotage or keep Mashramani away from anyone willing to participate – including “PPP/C supporters”?
Even if the Minister’s choice of “wine-up” as a description, was unfortunate, NEVER could he mean any aspersion to connect that to Afro-Guyanese. Good Lord, the Minister himself and thousands of Indo-Guyanese are on the road on Republic Day gyrating to all of our musical art-forms
Perhaps it took a bit too long to execute, but the Central Mashramani Committees always sought to include in a significant manner, the more cerebral elements of our Republic Anniversary Observance Lectures and Workshops are meant to give historical appreciation to our culture and the February 23 Berbice Rebellion date.
From the consistent participation of our school-going youth to the introduction of Folk-Ritual Enactments, a Folk Concert, increased Steelband Public Presentations, School Debates and Child Art, this Ministry is also recognizing the improved sterling contribution of our Private Sector to project Mashramani as a truly all-embracing festival of celebration and national occasion, which only Christmas comes close to.
What motivates Lurlene? How dare Nestor question this Ministry’s “positive mindset” towards Mashramani? Inspire all your members to participate Lurlene. And yes, see you on the road on February 23 next.
From: Mash Secretariat