Mr Mair did no justice to Dr Raj Persaud in his Sunday feature on eminent Guyanese in the U.K.

Stabroek News
August 7, 2001

Dear Editor,

The last name mentioned in John Mair's list of eminent Guyanese and people of Guyanese stock in the UK in Sunday's SN is Dr Raj Persaud who is given a one line mention as the British media favourite pop Psychiatrist of The Sun and the Maudsley Hospital. As the Guyanese father of Dr Persaud, I object most strongly to this totally false description, not for the sake of an award of

this kind, which seems by its organisation to be heading for influence by all sorts of extraneous considerations, but for the sake of the record.

The Maudsley Hospital and its associated Institute of Psychiatry, to both of which Dr Persaud is attached, are the leading Psychiatric institutions in the UK. Dr Persaud has no connection with the Sun. All his articles in the past year--about 15-- have been for the British quality papers including the Telegraph, the Times, the Guardian, the Financial Times and the Independent on Sunday.

Dr Persaud is now presenter of BBC Radio 4 'All in the Mind' a well known serious weekly programme he has taken over from Professor Anthony Clare, a leading British Psychiatrist. He is also resident Psychiatrist on ITV's 'This Morning' a very popular national programme.

But the misrepresentation is more galling still on the serious and academic side. Last year Dr Persaud was made a Fellow of University College London, a prestigious academic award, he won with seven other distinguished British academics from all disciplines. He has a first class Honours degree from London University and won many academic prizes in Psychiatry. At 29, he was one of the youngest Psychiatrists to be appointed a Consultant at the Maudsley. Profiles have been done on him by many papers here. He has been described by the reputable magazine 'The Spectator' as the leading Psychiatrist of the age and by The Guardian as the new Freud.

Dr Persaud has published extensively in academic journals and his recent book 'Staying Sane' has been a best seller and is already in its second edition. He is now completing a major contract for a new book by a major international publisher.

I hope Mr Mair would have the grace to correct this injustice to a most resourceful and distinguished young professional of Guyanese origin. For up to date information, I would recommend that he checks the internet theminddoctor.

Mr Mair's reference is probably explainable. The unfortunate practice has grown up here of describing Caribbean people as Afro-Caribbeans. Hence people of other races from the Caribbean are not given the attention their contributions deserve in the West Indian media emanating from the UK. On the other hand, Dr Persaud's Indian name has commended him to the Asian media and public and at the recent UK Asian Awards, he was voted by the public, one of three leading male Asian personalities of the year, and this is a community which is numerous times the size of the Guyanese community in the UK.

Articles like Mr Mair's deserve meticulous research if they are not to give a misleading picture. I am also able to inform him that he omitted completely another person of Guyanese origin who has a leading and most highly remunerative position in the City of London as a Managing Director of State Street Bank, a leading US fund management and custodial institution. He is a former Vice President and Global Head of Currency of JP Morgan. Moreover he became a Vice President at 30. He is Avinash Persaud, who has become well known in Caribbean and international financial circles, including Central Banks and Ministries of Finance. He won many international prizes including the Jacques de Larosiere first prize last year for his contribution to international finance awarded by the Institute of International Finance and has been profiled in the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Globe and Mail, BusinessWeek and the Economist for his contributions and innovative ideas.

Yours faithfully,
Prof Bishnodat Persaud