Dr. Alissa Trotz and Dr. Arif Bulkan are two Guyanese scholars who are recognized for their scholarly output in women studies and law, respectively. I am uncertain of the magnitude of their experience and research in Guyana’s political sociology, but in their writing in the June 30 edition of “In the Diaspora” in Stabroek News, some worrying scholarly mistakes were included or some disturbing omissions were incandescent. Could it have been random subjectivity? Bulkan, I believe had some sympathies for the AFC. Nothing wrong with that. I spoke at 35, yes 35, public meetings during the 2015 election campaign for the AFC. Trotz is an emotional embracer of the WPA.
They both left out the ugly, nasty, degenerate, destructive role of the AFC and WPA after 2015 and continue to see the continued “bad boy” role of the PPP and PNC as the major dilemma when one studies the race problematic of Guyana. In their analysis, both Trotz and Bulkan offered a one-dimension explanation of politics in Guyana after 2015. The assessment of Guyana’s tragedy prior to 2015 by the two academics was a solid output though not new since most of us, academics over sixty years of age have read and have written on the role of PPP/PNC’s contributions to the ethnic insanity that has devoured this land since the fifties.
After 2015, another paradigm has to be employed in writing on the dual factor of race and PPP/PNC ontology. Above I did say that the mistakes or omissions could have been random. Suppose it was Freudian? Whatever it is, when one adumbrates on Guyana’s ongoing tragedy after 2015, one must zero in on the poisonous insecticide the WPA and AFC threw on the flowers of a budding future.
First, the WPA of which Trotz is a policy-maker. The WPA argued that its merger with the PNC in 2011 was to bring about a new political culture and that African Guyanese were overburdened with the permanent split that the Burnham/Rodney confrontation brought to African Guyanese. The intention of the merger was that in creating APNU out of the PNC and WPA, a new dispensation was born.
With the capture of state power, the WPA defected from the Rodneyite agenda and accepted beinga Pavlovian supporter of the Burnhamite leader of government, David Granger and supported the practice of the old political culture of the PNC. Trotz has direct knowledge of this.
She met with Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine in his office in 2016 as part of a three-person delegation including Dr. David Hinds and Keith Branche. Roopnaraine told them as a minister, he could not discuss government business with party leaders. Mr. Branche had lunch with me at the Tastee Dish Restaurant in Kitty, and had emotional and harsh words to say about the decay of Roopnaraine’s politics.
From 2015 onwards, you cannot analyze the deterioration in state behaviour simply by reference to the constant battle between the PPP and PNC. There has to be analytical space assigned to the negative roles of the WPA and AFC. Andaiye knew about the demise of the WPA and its organic melting into the PNC. She spoke to me about this in an email I kept but never publicly remarked about, regarding the WPA’s surrogate status, a factor, I will refer to when I review her book, “The Point is to Change the World.”
Surely, Drs. Trotz and Bulkan had to know that they could not have offered a polemic on Guyana’s ethnic monstrosities and the demonic role of the PPP and PNC and omit the obnoxious, ugly and diabolical theatre of the AFC after 2015. In fact, it borders on academic heresy to pick on the PNC only after 2015 when in fact, there were far more autocratic impulses, undemocratic traits and oligarchic proclivities among the AFC leaders.
The examples are too numerous but a few should suffice. The AFC voted with the WPA in Parliament not to release the Walter Rodney Commission report. The AFC and WPA support the closure of the sugar estates without the legally required compensation for the workers. Thomas was Chairman of GUYSUCO at the time. Ramjattan argued for more draconian clauses in the Cyber Crime Bill. Both AFC and WPA agreed to remove the marijuana amendment bill from the Order Paper of Parliament. The AFC advised Granger that he has the constitutional latitude to make a unilateral appointment of GECOM chairman. Trotz and Bulkan are not only in the diaspora they are also in a cave where it may not be easy for them to find their way out. But I am sure they read about Plato’s allegory of the cave.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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