I have a policy that is inflexible in political debate. Once someone who is well known openly defends state oppression and political repression by the government, it is not only vital but it becomes a sacred duty to reply.
Once you are not incapacitated, then, find time to respond because even if you stop one soul from falling victim of that egregious propaganda, then it is worth it.
Some persons you just don’t bother with but with others you have to be on your guard. Ravi Dev is not a Vishnu Bisram or a Joey Jagan. He is someone that certain sections of the population read what he writes and pay attention to his reasoning. It would be dishonest to equate a Ravi Dev with a Bisram or Jagan or Prem Misir.
For my part, I admit that Mr. Dev is a citizen who is taken seriously by this society and is perceived as someone who presents plausible intellectual analysis. For this reason, anti-dictatorship activists, independent commentators and opposition figures must confront the dangerous misconceptions in Dev’s writings. To leave them unattended is to leave young minds exposed to some very deleterious concepts that could never help the expansion of freedom, liberty and human rights in this country.
Mr. Dev was in a dangerous mood in his last Sunday KN column. In this an election year, I would advise every opposition politician to expose the falsity in that commentary of Dev. I repeat; even if one mind is saved it is worth it. Titled, “Denouement of verbal extremism,” Mr. Dev’s essential point is that when critics of the government use fiery, acidic, confrontational, extremist language to criticize the PPP Government, there is always the potential for the vibrancy of the commentary to galvanize misguided folks to resort to violence against the PPP and by extension its supporters.
On paper this looks like a plausible analysis. But when stripped bare and put under the microscope, serious and nasty propaganda shows its ugly tentacles. This essay here is a rejection of everything that Mr. Dev’s last Sunday KN stands for. I have chosen the above title as a direct attack on the invalidities that characterize Mr. Dev’s judgements. And I call upon peace-loving Guyanese to add their assessments. It may not stop Dev from his biased interpretations. But then again it may.
First, the outright fiction in Dev’s piece is that PPP detractors are using extremist language. No one in the opposition or in the private media can match the nauseating and extremist attacks by high princes in the PPP regime that appear daily in the Chronicle. If Mr. Dev continues in this vein, then unfortunately, he may end like a Vishnu Bisram, a Joey Jagan or a Prem Misir.
I hope not. I suspect that Dev may not be aware of the repugnant and extremist attacks in the Chronicle on people in the AFC leadership, this columnist, Chris Ram, David Hinds and others because he simply does read the Chronicle. Mention must be made of extremist language from the little dictators themselves.
The lists include accusations that if the PNC wins, it will give away AK 47s to people who have stolen them. The opposition had ongoing relations with the Buxton-based gunmen. The opposition was involved in the shooting down of two Berbicians who protested rigged elections in 1973.
Second fiction – Dev paints a picture of consistent vitriolic and intemperate condemnations of the anti-government critics against a regime whose evil and sins he obfuscates. In other words, Dev’s binary is the vicious anti-government attackers versus a democratic government.
Does this necessitate an enumeration of the evil? There is a UN report that accuses the Guyana Government of racial discrimination. There are numerous Transparency International assessments that classify Dev’s democratic government as one of the globe’s most corrupt set of rulers. There is a 153-page dossier of horrible human rights abuses complied by the joint opposition parties and sent to Guyana’s important aid donors, governments that give bilateral aid and the major global organizations concerned with exposing human right violations.
I point readers to the title of this column. Mr. Dev’s democratic government was involved in physical attacks on its opponents. I had a miasmic substance thrown in my face. Mark Benschop had to run for his life, had his car extensively broken up, yet his alleged attacker from the Office of the President walked free while Benschop was placed in the Brickdam lock-up.
Mr. Maniram almost lost his Canter truck because he transported student-protestors. Shall we mention more victims like Critchlow Labour College, Mrs. Whyte-Nedd, Ingrid Griffith and the nine High Court Registry workers?
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