There is a scholarly analysis of the legacy of the departing president of Guyana that is making the rounds all over Guyana and in the Diaspora over the internet titled; “Guyanese President Leaves a Tattered Legacy.”
Done by the prestigious American human rights organization, Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA), the evaluation paints a devastating canvas of Mr. Jagdeo’s twelve-year-old rule. Nothing, absolutely nothing, in this elegant critique of power in Guyana is unknown to Guyanese in and out of the land. The study by COHA tells us nothing we don’t already know about the degeneracy here.
So what is important about this assessment of Mr. Jagdeo’s legacy that is flying around the place? It has been sent to me via e-mail by four persons already. COHA’s political conclusion of Mr. Jagdeo’s legacy is a monumental embarrassment to the intellectual resources of the Guyanese nation.
Once known as the intellectual powerhouse of the English-speaking region, Guyana at the moment is a ghost ship at the bottom of the ocean.
To think that this country has a university, with the largest faculty being in the social sciences, yet all over the world where Guyanese are the COHA document is being circulated. Why? The COHA analysis should have been produced by UG a long time ago.
I honestly mean it when I say that if there is a non-PPP president after the general elections, I would suggest UG be closed for one year to do a needs assessment of that place. To think that in that institution you have sociologists, economists and political studies lecturers, yet to date, there hasn’t been any scholarly study of the use of power by Mr. Jagdeo over the past twelve years and the PPP, the past nineteen years. It explains why young people have no respect for social science academics in this country.
The COHA examination is being discussed all over the place, yet we have a university here. When you think of this absurdity, then you think of how stupid a nation we have become.
To make matters worse, there are hundreds of Guyanese social scientists working in scholarly institutions all over the world and only one name comes up in terms of academic analysis of elected dictatorship in Guyana, and that is David Hinds of Arizona State University.
The Stabroek News has two forums for academics to offer their scholarly evaluations of the nature of governance in Guyana. One is the weekly column, “In the Diaspora.” There is the more academic publication, “Guyana Review.” Only one person has touched on the abuse of power for “In the Diaspora.”
Arif Bulkan once looked at Jagdeo’s refusal to sign eleven Bills passed by Parliament.
It was only logical to assume that “In The Diaspora” would have treated Guyanese to wide-ranging and profound analyses on what has happened to Guyana since the PPP took power in 1992. To think that only one writer has looked at the presence of an authoritarian hand in the use of power in this land is not only shocking and disappointing but downright tragic.
In fact, there are more critical contents about other countries in “In the Diaspora” than on Guyana. At one time, there was more sympathy expressed for the plight of the Honduran people when a coup occurred there, than for the permanent agony of the Guyanese nation.
Then there is the monthly, “Guyana Review.” A review of the “Review” leads one to the conclusion that political critiques of the Jagdeo presidency are avoided like the plague.
Poor Forbes Burnham! When he was in the saddle, UG, the Bar Association, Civil Society, the trade unions, the professional classes, the Guyana Diaspora, all of them poured out their wrath on him. Poor Forbes must be turning in his grave.
I lived under his domination but in all sincerity, what has taken place in this country the past decade has made Burnham look like the founder of a monastery. At a PNC town hall meeting at St. George’s School last week, I sat next to a lawyer.
I looked over to Vincent Alexander and asked him if he wasn’t going to ask a question. This lawyer turned to me and said. “Freddie don’t tell Vincent that he supported Burnham, after all, Burnham did a lot of good.”
Then Lincoln Lewis in a discussion on benschopradio.com said he doesn’t think Burnham was a dictator. When you see the silence that greets fascism in Guyana today, you have to wonder if these people aren’t right. Not only is Jagdeo’s legacy in tatters, so is the Guyanese nation.
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