May 10, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Arrogance, an overwhelming pride, makes men trip over their feet and fall with their noses flush into the sewers of discredit and disrepute. The arrogance of unhearing leaders is a different kettle of worms, since they are responsible for not just themselves, and maybe their captive families, but of the fate of a nation, sometimes small (as in Guyana), or in the hundreds of millions (as it is in the United States).
America had one such leader up to a few months ago. The world breathes a long sigh of relief now that he is gone. But the five people gone in January, as a direct result of the U.S. Capitol Hill insurrection (rebellion, coup, what have you) are not going to any place on earth from which there is some hope of coming back. That was one of the prices paid by vulnerable citizens, which can directly be traceable to leadership arrogance, self-satisfying leadership smugness. To those can be added the deep racial, sectional and partisan divide that rages throughout America; and the loss of prestige and standing of America before a suddenly disdainful world. Even hurling a loaded dirty kitchen sink in the lap of such a leader, for such a waste of leadership opportunity and leadership maturity, is not enough of an overkill, or nearly enough condemnation.
In Brazil, a leader by the name of Jair Bolsonaro exposes the citizens of his country with his reckless arrogance. He may be the only leader in the world, who takes this stance: the coronavirus is not as big a deal as made out to be. He was and is a skeptic and refused to implement social distancing measures, or purchase vaccines, among other necessary precautions that the rest of the world had been taking. Senor Bolsonaro’s postures and arrogance have led to the deaths of approximately 400,000 Brazilians and over 14 million confirmed cases, at last count. And yet this national leader of unparalleled hubristic stature is still in denial, still objecting, still not rolling out all the weapons at his nation’s disposal. According to a news broadcast from Al Jazeera dated April 27, last, “Brazil Senate opens inquiry into Bolsonaro’s COVID handling” and the accompanying subtitle, “Investigation into Jair Bolsonaro comes as Brazil is set to surpass 400,000 deaths…” Such is one of the prices of leadership arrogance and it couldn’t have been directed at someone who deserves it more.
But as arrogant as Senor Bolsonaro has been in his overseership of Brazil’s COVID-19 pandemic response, he still comes up short for the most arrogant and most reckless head of state crown, and by a wide margin. It is because there is another leader (as incredible as that may sound), whose arrogant actions have tarnished his once bright star. He has handled the responsibility of his office so poorly and so carelessly (so unbelievably arrogantly) that even his own countrymen denounce him in no uncertain terms. The leader is India’s Narendra Modi, who has endangered his 1.4 billion people, when he didn’t do what any responsible and thoughtful leader would have and should have done.
Prime Minister Modi, who may now appear in his own glazed eyes to be one sacred and holy man, has by his arrogant actions and inactions sown the wind and now reap the whirlwind in India. Elections rallies and elections themselves do not rise to life and death situations that just have to be had, regardless of the mortal dangers that both embody. Well, that was what arrogant leader Modi encouraged. And massed religious festivals call for the most sensible cautionary statesmanship, especially when a pandemic rages uncontrollably. On that occasion, leader Modi was content to stand back and sit down idly, in the decisions that he didn’t make, as though he was waiting for the hammer to fall, while hoping against hope.
It doesn’t take any special genius to discern when a terribly perilous path is being barrelled along recklessly. Mr. Modi knew so, but did so, anyhow. Now he has condemned his country to beg for help. A lovely start was made by India in the early distribution of its vaccine supplies, of which Guyana gratefully received some. Then the arrogance in Mr. Modi grabbed hold of him, and India is shaken to the core.
As we at this publication contemplate the costly arrogance of these leaders (the United States, Brazil, and India), we cannot help thinking about our own homeland, this Guyana right here. We are being led by arrogant leaders, who mismanage potential, and mangle the present. The present is how they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, which even the resident PAHO people have said that going the other way is better, hence recommended. But PPP leaders are so full of themselves, so struttingly arrogant, that they refuse to listen to anyone, but the sound of their own voices, while being impressed with their own shadows.
In addition, they pretend to know all that there is needed to be known about this oil of ours, while dancing to the sound of their own foolish music. They do not need outside experts, they have themselves. They do not need independent authorities; they are just as good, if not better. Look at where we are today, and remember later when the prices of leadership arrogance have to be paid and in full. Of course, it is the people who must pay.
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