Since Brig David Granger was directly elected by the PNC members to be their presidential candidate, the PPP’s race baiting phrases “rigged elections” and “past role in army” have been dangled before Indo Guyanese. The sublimal message is that Brig Granger is African and “they must not rule again.”
If we follow their logic then Dr Jagan had to be disqualified from being leader of the PPP and President of Guyana because he rigged the PPP elections in 1962 to deny Balram Singh Rai the chairmanship. They ignore Jagan’s rigging but express moral outrage at Burnham. So it is PPP racism being used against Brig Granger.
Such racist solicitation was echoed as far away as the Jawaharlal Nehru University by a known poll fraudster. I am writing this letter to place the 1973 elections in an historical perspective and to highlight Dr Cheddi Jagan’s deception of Indo Guyanese. This is not an attempt to defend the PNC, or to explain Brig Granger’s role, if any, in that election. Brig Granger is quite capable of defending his integrity. I will start with the geo political realities of 1973.
The world had since 1948 been embroiled in the Cold War between the capitalist democratic bloc led by the USA, and the communist dictatorships of the USSR and its satellites. Dr Jagan had in 1947 publicly declared that he was a Marxist Leninist, and openly aligned himself with the USSR, despite his location in the USA’s backyard. Due to his communist sloganeering he was removed from office in 1953 by the British.
Dr Jagan was allowed back in office in 1957, but he displayed some moronic tendencies by continuing to espouse communism, and to champion the cause of Fidel Castro’s Revolution in Cuba. The consequence was his removal from office in 1964, this time by the USA. He was replaced by Mr. Forbes Burnham.
At that point in time Dr Jagan, even if he could not intellectualize on the reason for his removal, then by the process of learning by experience, he had to know that he could not retain his communist ideology and hold office in the USA’s sphere of influence. Dr Jagan’s disciple, Mr. Burnham, had learned this lesson since the 1953 suspension of the constitution, and he had greatly tempered his socialist rhetoric. That was why the USA saw him as the lesser of the two evils and put him in power. Dr Jagan was beseeched by many educated Indians to give up his communist beliefs and embrace the USA. He did not.
In 1969 Dr Jagan declared to the world that he had successfully transformed the PPP into “a disciplined Marxist Leninist Party.” He thus assured himself a place in political wilderness, and worse, set the stage for further demonization of Africans, and PPP racism.
When the 1973 elections came around, Dr Jagan had to
know that the USA would not allow him back into office. He was not an imbecile. He had to know. He had to know too that Mr. Burnham could not hold free and fair elections that would return him to office. By 1973 Dr Jagan had become rabidly anti USA, and fanatically pro USSR. Had Dr Jagan ascended to office in 1973, the USA would have removed him by either internal destabilisation or invasion by Venezuela.
Dr Jagan contested the 1973 elections knowing fully well that whether the elections were rigged or not, the USA would not have permitted him to take office. That was the geo political reality of 1973. Off course the PPP supporters did not know all of that.
The PPP supporters were misled by Dr Jagan into believing that they could return him to power by elections if the elections were free and fair. Dr Jagan exhorted them to turn out en masse to vote, to surround the places of poll, to take control of the ballot boxes, and to block the roads. That gave Mr. Burnham the legitimate cause to deploy the GDF to protect and secure the election process. A few PPP supporters were shot and killed at 64 Village, Corentyne. Mr. Burnham gave his party a landslide victory.
Dr Jagan cried foul and engaged in his usual media catching theatrics that mesmerized his idolizing supporters. Lost in all the accusations and protests was Dr Jagan’s part responsibility for rigged election, and his deceit of his supporters. Dr Jagan’s post election protest antics obscured his responsibility for his predicament. Rather than share the blame, he sought to blame everyone else, just as he had done in his West on Trial. Everyone was at fault, except him.
Unfortunately Indians only saw that it was African soldiers who stole the elections from them, and that it was Africans who perpetuated violence on them. The resentment for the GDF was exploited by the PPP to such an extent that the GDF became a symbol of African power and dominance in the collective psyche of Indians.
That is why the phrases “rigged elections” and “his past as an army officer” will be used by the PPP as racist tools to remind Indians that Brig Granger is African, and he was in the GDF, so he must be evil. Many of those who will peddle this racism have as their Scriptures the Mahabharat.
I now refer them to that Great Epic and ask of them a few questions. If the enlightened soul Bhisma, found himself fighting on the side of irreligion and untruth because he was fulfilling his duty to the Crown, yet he was not deemed wicked, evil, and demonic by Lord Krsna, what gives you the power to demonize Brig Granger just because he was a soldier in 1973? And please show me where Lord Krsna advocated racism.
Those who seek to denigrate Brig Granger must explain some of the intellectual frailties of Dr Jagan. He was advocating the Soviet and Cuban systems for Guyana. Both the USSR and Cuba were one party dictatorship states.
Those states jailed and executed dissidents. Mr. Burnham kept a multi-party system, but rigged elections. Dr Jagan gave Mr. Burnham critical support, and later held secret power sharing talks with the PNC to merge into one party, and set up a party state. So if Jagan wanted to merge with Burnham, why try to discredit Brig Granger on the grounds that he is African and was in the GDF?
The issue today is not who was in the GDF in 1973, but rather the past 19 years of PPP rule that has seen a complete breakdown of religious values, morality, and ethics in Guyana. Corruption and debauchery is rampant in the PPP regime. The drug lords and organised crime reign over Guyana. There is no public security and ordinary Guyanese are at the mercy of criminals. Everyday citizens are being shot and killed in robberies, whilst Dr Jagan’s “party children” amass fortunes and build mansions, right before our eyes. It is like “dey juking we in we eye.”
I have said it in previous letters, and I will keep repeating it in this, and future letters, that Brig Granger is a leader who is on the side of Religion and Truth. Brig Granger is the leader who will restore public security, religious values, ethics, and morality.
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