The Story Within The Story…
By Leonard Gildarie
(“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”- Edmund Burke)
As I wrote yesterday, it was 1st August – Emancipation Day. It is always a significant day to remind us where we came from. It should remind that we have a duty, each of us, to pave the roads that will take us to a better place.
It is clearly not an Afro-Guyanese thing. History tells us otherwise.
It is unacceptable that our actions, our mentality, would leave us here.
I could not help but recall Bob Marley’s classic anthem and its powerful words: ‘Redemption Song’- “…Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, None but ourselves can free our minds…”
The solution to our problems lies with us. We don’t have to ask for foreign help. We can be mature and decisive and start paying heed to what is important to our country. Patriotism will have to be proven.
Imagine the world is facing COVID-19, a pandemic, with the US, which is the country with the most deaths and cases. In fact, as of yesterday, the US had 4.64 million confirmed cases with 156,000 deaths.
The US authorities are thinking of a second total shutdown.
Yet, we keep hearing our people making no pretense that they would prefer to be there.
For many, the atmosphere in this country has become so poisoned that we would want to leave our memories, our friends and our favourite aunts in order to venture to another land.
Yesterday and today, as Marley’s song continues to reverberate in our souls, let us understand that our future lies in our hands.
We can choose to build elsewhere, with one foot out of the door or we can become players here.
One listener to our programme on Kaieteur Radio, a single mom, recently reached out and asked for assistance. Although single and with children, she said, singularly, she would not mind coming out to protest. It was a stark reminder that our people are very much keeping up with the political developments.
It is totally unacceptable what has transpired in the last few months. I have said it before and will repeat…the most alarming and shocking thing would have been the blatant disregard for the rule of law.
The courts ruled on several occasions…more than a dozen, with total disregard of those decisions.
I am at pains here not to point fingers at the Coalition. I have too many dear friends there.
Rather, I come back to Eid and Emancipation Day and ask our people to reflect the meanings.
It rings hollow for our leaders and constitutional bodies to talk about togetherness and development at times like this.
I am not worried about our economy. That can be fixed. We have oil and so many other resources.
What will take enormous efforts and time will be the growing ethnic chasm. I cannot bury my head in the sand and say all is hunky dory.
In fact, I insist we all acknowledge how fragmented this country is. And for what?
Every Phagwah day, every Diwali night, this country becomes one.
Every Easter Monday, our people mingle. At Mashramani, we are one people.
This year, we can’t mingle as one during CPL. Our seawall gatherings have been scaled back, with the blame fully at the feet of COVID-19.
How did we come full circle on Emancipation Day? How do we forget our colonial plantation owners using Indians to break strike actions?
We have allowed this. It is a recurring nightmare time and again.
Consciously, it is time for us to pull out the stops and demand our leaders, our thinkers to lead the way.
Any presidency will have to govern all Guyana.
The president who will be sworn in…and it is inevitable…will have to send clear messages of how this country will move forward.
My younger son had asked me months ago what is the first thing that I would do as president…I will repeat.
On the day of swearing in, there will be no time for celebrations. In fact, with the developments of the last few months, it is clear what should be.
As the president for all Guyana, I will move right away to call in the Opposition leaders. My challenge to them will be…how can we heal? How can we make this country great?
It is time for our day in the sun.
Mental slavery. I could not help but think that Bob Marley peered into our future.
It strikes to our heart.
Let us bring back the love. Our leaders dropped the ball.
We can forgive them for that. What would be intolerable is for us, as good people, not to do anything to correct the situation.
The few days ahead are crucial. Can all the patriots in the house, please stand up?
(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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