Aug 06, 2020 Editorial Comments Off on A woman made of the finest steel
After the honeymoon glow of her appointment had worn off, Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh ran into a blizzard of suspicion. In view of how events played out for long months at a time, it would be far more accurate to say that the blizzards and avalanches and mudslides all dumped on her head. But through all of this, Ms. Singh, showed she was made of the finest steel, never bowing or bending, even though the breaking point had to have threatened on more than one occasion.
In a singular Guyanese example of courage under fire, Ms. Singh was a rare profile in rarer courage. We salute her for never flinching. We hail her for never swerving. And we laud for remaining unflappable in the face of a tsunami of overwhelming situations all fraught with the raw edges of Guyanese bigotries, the unsparing realities of our accumulated political malice.
Now that there is a moment of temporary calm, we here at this paper take a moment to look at where things are today, and a little bit more of how she did. The first thing that should be said is this: as long as there is one Guyanese somewhere with one breath in his or her body, there will be disagreement and fury, if not controversy, over the final moments leading up to the declaration developments at GECOM. No matter how much we commend her for a job well done, and the rest of Guyana also, there will be someone, highly likely many, who takes serious objection to this narrative and position of ours.
Nonetheless with that duly acknowledged and discerned, it would take an alien who is a total stranger to the ways of Guyana, and especially its now settled elections culture, to not pay tribute to how the Chairwoman of GECOM, Ms. Claudette Singh, conducted herself, managed the business before her, and herded the bag of unruly cats that were part of her charge. Concerning the latter, that would be the six politically named commissioners to GECOM.
It could not have been easy. It certainly was never smooth or without blemish, where over a million eyes and ears waited to question and condemn, and to second guess and scorn, this decision or that, the next pause or movement, and on and on ad infinitum.
Because of the nature of the job and the extremely sensitive responsibilities attached to it, Chair Singh was not able to respond to critics, to argue with dissenters, or to convince cynics.
Ms. Singh had to take it all on the chin and remain standing, without appearing to be ruffled and, believe it or not, without seeming to sweat. Some were low blows that questioned her integrity, that labeled her prejudiced, and that had to have hurt with the accumulated vileness. We here in Guyana owe this daughter of the soil for her steadfast devotion to the task at hand and her unerring instinct to think on her feet and be confident enough and strong enough to make decision after decision that everyone knew was sure to provoke the greatest of anger, and the worst of insults flowing from suspicions about the most biased of motives.
We are familiar with such situations since we have come in for more than our share of the savaging and searing. And is because of this that we can empathize deeply with Justice Singh. For this is what Guyana and Guyanese are about sometimes when they do not get their way, when they feel thwarted, and they look for someone at which to lash out blindly and woundingly. This was the lot, time and again, of Chairwoman Singh, who through it all stood her ground and did her duty, regardless of how the cookie crumbled.
Like we said earlier, and this is regardless of how her final decision(s) has been received, Ms. Singh did her duty and showed all of us what it means to be courageous and withstand withering fire from all angles and all comers. If only we had more like her in the many.
To Chairwoman Claudette Singh we say: well done, very well done!
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