Strange things crisscross your mind when you look at East Indians now and then. It’s like windmills blowing the corners of your soul into a vortex of confusion mixed with angst meeting in a confluence of perpetual Sisyphean torment. Then means when the PNC was in power and the PPP was in the opposition. I attended untold numbers of Indian religious ceremonies during the three decades the PPP was in the opposition. At each ceremony, Hindu pandits and Muslim priests would mix politics with religion.
Sometimes it was subtle. At times there were open condemnation of Black rule in Guyana and the lamentation of discrimination against East Indians. Everywhere you found Indians, the PNC Government was under attack. The vexation ranged from the simple violation to nasty excesses. If an Indian was dismissed by the PNC Government, a court case followed.
I remember Doodnauth Singh would be in the forefront of every writ the opposition wanted to file in court against the PNC Government. Everything the PNC Government did was condemned. NIS took away Indian people money. The Cultural Centre took away Indian people money. The Corentyne highway took away Indian people money.The national ID card was a strategy by Burnham to spy on Indian people. The National Security Act was a law designed to lock up the PPP and its supporters. Hindu and Muslim priests were heroes in the Indian community.
That was a long time ago. The Indians loved the PPP. They voted for the PPP in four successive elections devastating the WPA, the party of Walter Rodney.
Today, the Diwali lights are still alight. The flame is still in the heart of the average Hindu. But who is it burning for?
Where is that bad president, Forbes Burnham? He died in 1985. Where is that bad PNC Government? It went out of power in 1992. And yes, since the intervening twenty years of PPP rule, the Diwali flame burns brighter. But have the lights exterminated the evil of the land? The Diwali lights were coruscating in the temples from 1968 to 1992.
The Hindus prayed to their God that the evil of government be banished from the land. And their prayers were heard in 1992. But was the prayer really heard by God? Or was the Devil listening in too?
Well it had to be that the Devil got into the act too. Burnham’s venalities, the depravities of a Black Government are long gone but replaced by Indian debaucheries, Indian immoralities and Indian hegemony. But the Diwali lights still shine brightly as they will tonight. So what has changed in this tragic land? Tonight, Hindu priests will preach another form of politics.
Yes, they sermonized on politics alright when the PNC was in power. But today and tonight, the sermons move in dialectical directions that Cheddi Jagan called the unity of opposites. For those who don’t know what that means, it is communist dialectics.
There will be a different sermon in the temples on this Diwali day. It will be prayers of protection for the new dictators. Yesterday, it was prayers of hope that the Black dictators will vanish. Today, Lord Rama and Lord Krishna and Mother Laxhmie will be asked to protect the new dictators. And why not? Because they are Indians.
Attorney Charrandass Persaud of Berbice brought a picture of these prayers to us in the newspapers yesterday. While there was a Diwali prayer being said, the politics of protection for the new dictators were being pronounced. Mr. Persaud said he objected. And according to him, he was greeted with a slap.
Yes, the Diwali lights are still glowing brightly but for the new dictators.
And so today, a certain Hindu priest will be in the temples speaking to his flock. And the listeners will garland him. They will listen to him speak of Lord Krishna. But what does he know of the Lord? Was it right for him to allow a young girl to commit suicide because he manipulated her? Isn’t this old news to Hindu worshippers? Isn’t it old news to the people of Guyana that for all the years he has been a pandit, he has also been a man obsessed with little girls? And also possessed of amazing wealth in the form of land to his friends?
What goes through the mind of the average Hindu today as he/she carefully avoids any whisper of the venalities of the new dictators? I thought God taught us human beings to recognize that a sin is a sin despite the race of the person who commits it.
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