This is a social problem

Stabroek News
July 3, 2001

Dear Editor,

I have been reading nearly all the commentaries and letters published in your newspaper especially since the general elections of this year. While a few letters addressed the subject of violence against Indo-Guyanese, these have not done justice to this issue, in my opinion.

The main reasons for this arguably are the position of the two major political parties on this topic.

Since 1961,the position of the PPP has generally been one of avoidance. I have raised this matter with several high ranking officials of the party, including Dr Jagan when he was alive, and received no definite answers. In general, they stressed the importance of working class unity, true to their Marxist-Leninist philosophy.

The position of the PNC officials have been slightly different. They usually deny the gravity and magnitude of this social issue, saying that Afro-Guyanese have suffered too.

The nature and scope of my work gives me first hand knowledge of the psychological traumas many of these victims have to endure. I am not saying that only Indo-Guyanese are victims; indeed, it would be possible to identify victims from all ethnic groups that constitute the fabric of Guyanese society. However, based on my clinical experience as a psychotherapist, a disproportionate number are Indo-Guyanese.

On a concluding note, I would like to recommend to President Jagdeo to appoint a committee to investigate and document this social problem. This should not be viewed as a racial issue; as a nation, we have to move away from that type of thinking. The needs of the victims should take priority.

Yours faithfully,
Latchman Param Narain,