Sep 27, 2020 Letters
Freddie Kissoon is spot on in consistently criticizing several prominent individuals of society, heads of organizations, for their commentary on contemporary socio-economic and political issues. They lack consistency. One cannot be silent to countless amoral and constitutionally illegal activities and then have the audacity to speak against only one. Such individuals are dishonest. They are hypocrites.
There is so much political and social mendacity in this society. Hannah Arendt’s famous maxim that “truthfulness has never been counted among political virtues” is most apt when thinking about certain politicians, heads of organizations, and other prominent individuals.
Suddenly, some have found their voice in assailing or pronouncing views on the governance of President Ali’s administration but were silent during or defending five years of mal-administration and violation of basic democratic and constitution rule. Their courage to speak out against perceived errors of current government is epitome of hypocrisy. It turns the stomach when these individuals issue statements on behalf of organizations or groups or themselves condemning violence and agreements made by this administration with the USA. They act self-righteous now and speak strongly of sovereignty but did not utter a word of condemnation when the nation was abused. They call for power sharing now but were silent during five years when they were in office and in a position to implement it. Can you imagine a government and a local court said 34 is not a majority of 65, and heads of organizations and mathematics instructors and administrators of UG were quiet? Do you think those judges would remain in office in America or Canada or UK or India? The constitution and several CCJ rulings were defied and the law faculty and administration of UG were silent. These are not acts of personal failings but of national moral failings of what is right and wrong for a nation whose basic laws were violated. Not one voice at UG came out and condemned what took place. No one academic or administrator resigned a position in protest or even penned a letter calling for adherence to constitutional law. In fact, some for political reasons came out and praised the violations of basic laws just to retain or strengthen their position with the regime. Are these people fit to teach or lead anyone or any institution? They are promoted! Only in Guyana this can happen! Their silence encourages further violations of laws. Gandhi had said that silence in the face of evil is complicit in the act. It was that kind of silence that led to the rise of the fascist dictatorship in Guyana after1965.
Freddie, Ruel Johnson, and those of us who spoke out against violations of basic principles of governance and decency were seen as “political” and we are told that we are not qualified to hold certain positions of governance or academia. (Freddie must be brought back at UG; he can do a better job than most there). Yes, when we speak out against electoral fraud and racism and corruption, we are automatically labeled as “political”. We are told we are wrong for exposing racism, fraud, and corruption. They tell us we should have been silent and we would be rewarded for high paying positions. Then who would protect human rights and the nation? Would democracy have been restored in 1992 if we were silent? What hypocrites! Somehow, they feel if you defend or are silent during fraud, you are a hero or heroine. Wrong! If being politically honest and writing the right things disqualify one for a position, then so be it.
Any social or political activist who was silent during those five months of attempts to rig the election has forfeited his or her right to comment on current political matters. After you critique and condemn illegality, then you have earned respect to speak out on current matters of governance or issues facing the society.
Everyday, there is revelation of so much political and financial corruption, the worst in the country’s history. Exxon has taken advantage of Guyana’s oil or should I say the previous government allowed Exxon to abuse us with the contract. How can we be silent? Who will speak out against the fraud and abuses? I applaud Freddie for exposing their hypocrisy.
Vishnu Bisram (PhD, Pol Sci)
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