Kaieteur News – Twice I produced an email in the Stabroek News’ publication of letters as part of my response to Tacuma Ogunseye’s political culture. For those who are weighing in on the controversy that has canopied Amanza Walton-Desir (AWD), Ogunseye’s email hold tremendous value in understanding the relentless sycophancy, and the sycophantic relentlessness of party loyalists.
There is a crescendo of frustration at AWD’s awful, inelegant, sociological pronouncement. But there is a huge but. But Guyana’s political culture has produced a stagnant pond where party supporters come under undue influence of their leaders and these leaders take hold of the psychology of their loyal followers.
Why are we discussing this situation in Guyana? It is a feature of politics worldwide. Trump, Boris Johnson, Marie Le Pen (in France) have taken hold of the psychology of their supporters. All three persons appeal to a race group that feels that the global dominance and centuries-old control of the world by the Caucasian race in the US, UK and France is under threat. The supporters of these leaders cannot be appeased. They believe in the crusade of their leaders.
In Guyana, what AWD said has some factual existence but not in the broad framework that she uses. Not one race but all three of the major race groups – Indians, Africans and Amerindians – came under the mesmerising influence of their charismatic leaders – Jagan for Indians; Burnham for Africans; Peter D’Aguiar for Amerindians and Portuguese.
AWD went wrong for two reasons. First, Guyanese politics is subject to dialectical flows and has been shaped by such flows. I need not repeat that perspective here (see my column of Wednesday, April 28, 2021, “Amanza Walton-Desir is the embodiment of the curse she says Indians have”), she ventured into sociology without understanding dialectics.
Briefly, all three-race groups in Guyana have diluted the psychological hold their respective parties have had on them. Indians have shown phenomenal changes in the way they think by the way they voted in 2011 and 2015. The ignorance of that fact by AWD was appalling and she should have ended the controversy by acknowledging that.
She stood by her ignorance without thinking for a moment that she was chastising Indians not as a young Guyanese lawyer but as a Black woman in the leadership of a Black party. That is undiluted repugnance. Her stance is typical of party tribalists of which she is not alone. This blind fury which she accuses Indians of having can be found in all Guyanese parties. Here is where the relevance of Ogunseye’s email comes in. It is a revelation to those who study politics and is valued research material for people like AWD who seems fond of isolating PPP supporters for special negative mistreatment.
Here is what Ogunseye wrote on March 6, 2018 after Minister Roopnaraine proclaimed to the WPA that as a minister, he cannot discuss government’s business at the party level, “I remember persons who knew the “Brother” told us that we will later have problems with the comrade ‒ their point was that his political orientation was not Guyanese or Caribbean but European. He came from the European lift (sic) culturally. I had and still have problems with the Brother’s politics and his political culture, but the WPA, before Walter (sic) return, and during his activism and after, had always seen the anti-dictatorial struggle as a multi-class struggle ‒ this explains our coexistence and objectively was Indian and one of the better element of the elite. There is something I would not say at this time. Tacuma.”
Here now is Ogunseye in praise of Roopnaraine after his email. I quote from his April 11, 2018, letter in the Stabroek News; “…we in the WPA value Rupert Roopnaraine’s years of service…we intend to stand in solidarity with him….Let me reiterate for whoever needs this reassurance, Dr. Roopnaraine is and will remain a member of the WPA for as long as he chooses to. End of matter.”
I saw a video of the 2018 congress of the AFC in which delegates were bawling, screaming and knocking their heads on the wall in the building when Raphael Trotman announced he wasn’t interested in running for chairmanship. One wonders why AWD picked on Indian supporters of the PPP only. It is the political culture of Guyana where party supporters come under the spell of their leaders who maintain a tight grip of the loyalists’ psychology. AWD herself is an example. She is mentally lazy in accepting her party’s influence in telling her the March 2020 election was rigged
(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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