Mar 11, 2013 News
Alliance for Change (AFC) Executive Member Charrandass Persaud publicly apologized to all women and in particular to Medical Superintendent of the N/A Hospital Dr. Vishalya ‘Artie’ Sharma on television on Saturday evening for disparaging remarks he made about her at a recent AFC Public Meeting.
Persaud referred to Dr. Sharma as “a really oversized doctor”.
“Sharma is trying to control her own body weight and she can’t do that; she has to control the whole operation of the New Amsterdam Hospital—the girl is so fat, she could probably not fit in the front seat of her jeep. She can’t control, her own body weight, she is controlling our lives at the New Amsterdam Hospital…”
Those were the words of Persaud while speaking about the recent death at the N/A Hospital of a woman during a blackout.
As Guyana and the world just celebrated International Women’s Day on Friday, Persaud’s comments at an AFC public meeting at the Adelphi Market Square in East Canje about the doctor came in for severe criticism.
Present at that meeting were AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan and Members of Parliament Dr. Veerasammy Ramayya and Mr. Moses Nagamootoo.
As pressures mounted for a public apology and a pending lawsuit by the Women’s Progressive Organisation (WPO), Persaud apologized publicly on a Live TV programme.
He said “my statements would appear to be that I was attacking women who were obese. That was not my intention.”
“I will apologize to you people—to women in particular—women in Berbice. You know I have never been abusive to women…I have never said or done anything derogatory and if you want testimony to that ask—Shabana—Zulfikar’s [Mustapha’s] wife—the lady who punched me at the (2011) Diwali Motorcade—she knows she did it, but for one reason or the other, the DPP nullified the matter—and you can ask her that I did not lift a hand to wave at her, after she hit me.”
Persaud said that if his statement about the doctor seems to convey abusive intent, “I apologize to women across the country—I was referring to the medical and administrative skills of this woman Vishalya Sharma.”
“Administration is what I am looking for, not your size, and I apologize to you [Dr. Sharma],” Persaud said.
His words have sparked numerous condemnations from the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Region 6 Councilors at the recent RDC Board Meeting; Women’s Progressive Organization (WPO); and other women’s rights organizations.
It was Persaud’s second apology made on public television within recent times; the first being after remarks made about President Donald Ramotar’s qualifications and questioning whether the President did or did not graduate from the University of Guyana (UG).
Those comments were made shortly before the November 2011 General elections.
AFC Member Haseef Yusuf also condemned Persaud’s remarks at a recent RDC Boardroom Meeting in Region Six by saying that, “No person in any political party actually behaves like that; what he did was using one of the oldest fallacies known to mankind, ‘argumentum ad hominem’, which means argument against the man, that you leave the issues at hand and attack the person, rather than addressing the issues. Whatever he said was completely out of line because he was actually attributing the doctor’s physical outlook to her ability to run the hospital. He needs to apologise to the good doctor.
I don’t think the party will condone such statement and I don’t think he has the blessings of the party to behave like that but he is a guy who would normally go about make irresponsible statements, because one time he said that President Ramotar has never qualified and never graduated from the University of Guyana (UG) and later he apologized for that.”
Bijallie Motie, President of the WPO in Berbice stated, “We have individuals who reduce their self -esteem so low…and we attack, viciously. The AFC launched a vicious attack against women of this country. When you attack one woman, you attack all of us and it was Mr. Charrandass [Persaud] Attorney- at-Law.”
“There are rules and laws established in this country that have given Guyanese women the right to be able to be protected and I want to say that I condemn such an action. What the AFC leadership should have been doing is to commit themselves to the task of nation building, [and] I am calling on my AFC colleagues to call on their comrades that whatever they were doing, it was wrong. And he owes this doctor an apology.”
The AFC, she stated, capitalized on a moment, when Dr. Sharma, is in mourning, “when she is in a time of grief, because her father has died—the AFC took an opportunity in hitting her left, right and centre—well I am going to tell you—if you call me fat, that has nothing to do with my profession or political affairs!”
When contacted, Dr. Sharma was performing last rites on her father, and promised to issue a statement shortly. “I am still caught up dealing with my father’s death, but I heard about the comments (of Persaud).”
Keep your eyes on Venezuela!
Dec 09, 2023– MVP Sports Pee-Wee Girls U11 Schools Football tournament Kaieteur Sports – In the world of sports, the captains of competing teams often become the focal point, embodying the spirit,...
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.