I have lived all my life in Guyana, except for the period I was abroad studying. I think I can safely say I have a plausible understanding of Guyanese.
My analysis as I write in 2019 is that it is a land overrun by the worst dimensions of psychology.
Guyanese have lost their soul, humanity, human qualities, rationality and psychic integrity. I date this societal emptiness from the time Walter Rodney was killed. I can’t explain in a newspaper column what happened to the nature of Guyana from 1980 onwards, but I think the psychic destruction since that time has not been reversed, despite the democratic attempts of presidents Hoyte and Cheddi Jagan.
When they came to power I think the society had so far gone down the nihilistic chasm that Guyanese society was not resuscitated under those two presidents. Most tragically, the soul and the spiritual fulcrums of Guyana so badly damaged after 1980 were further eroded by the rule of Jagdeo, Ramotar and now APNU+AFC.
I will keep saying it for a long time to come – where and how do you begin to understand this place? Can the normal, logically thinking mind ever comprehend the nature of a nationality named Guyanese? Is this the most incomprehensible, irrational, illogical land on Planet Earth? This column is not about cricket. I use the just concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) matches broadcast in Guyana as a starting point to describe how deeply troubled this nation is.
The games in IPL cricket were shown recently. This was welcomed by cricket fans in Guyana, because it was off the air for a few years now. Brace yourself for the bizarre and inscrutable. I watched many of the games, some of which held no interest for me, but West Indians were playing and I looked. Every game in the IPL that was aired in Guyana showed the match presentation after the game ended.
You would think the particular match every cricket fan on Planet Earth would want to see the presentation ceremony would be the final. And so there was the final which became an historical cricket match. One side won the game on the last ball bowled by a cricket legend. It was one of the most absorbing cricket contests ever played.
And guess what? The final ball was bowled and the broadcast to Guyanese who were watching it without cable facility ended there and then. Viewers did not get to see what any fan was entitled to see – how the trophy was lifted; the opposing captains’ views; who was player of the match; who was the best bowler for the tournament; who was awarded the best batsmen; who copped the prize for the best catch. Most importantly, viewers did not get to see how the emotions of the victorious team were manifested.
Why would a station show the match presentation for all the games, some of which had no interest at all for the fans, yet the one that the entire community of cricket fans in Guyana would be overzealous about – the final – was not aired? Can you make sense of that? Can any human in this world make sense of that? But there is a question; should that surprise anyone who lives in this country? If they are surprised then, they are not living humans.
What goes through the mind of that person, whoever it is that was in charge of relaying the cricket, that he/she would broadcast the end-of match affair for the previous games but not the big, big, big one – the final? Is all hope lost for this nation?
Of course the IPL final match is just another moment in the mysterious, sad life of this nation. There are countless others, some of which are highlighted in hundreds of these columns of mine and as day passes into night, there will be more moments, more episodes, more traits in Guyana that make absolutely no sense in the thought process of the average human around the world.
I want to state quite clearly that in dating the psychic collapse from 1980, I am not blaming the political leadership since then. Such leadership has deepened the rut, but the rut has destroyed the nation, not only just its leadership.
I end with a philosophical example of a people in a country that have humanity in them. A very poor, single mother found millions accidently left in an ATM booth. She took it to the police. Since then, Jamaican society is donating millions to her, with business firms leading the way. In Guyana, if that had happened, she would have continued to starve. Jamaica has a soul. Guyana is a soulless wasteland.
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