Many changes are needed to put us on the path of development
Stabroek News
November 17, 2001

Dear Editor,

As I move around our beautiful country, the main element of melancholy to me, is the plight of our young people.

Our youth do need to study their history in order to be proud Guyanese but they should not be burdened by the past, especially the terrible destructive racialism which haunts this nation. Our young people need to look foward to a new notion of unified effort for a mobile Guyana while maintaining a cultural momentum to sustain their race, religion, resolve and resources to create a new renaissance in our nation's future.

The future belongs to our youth and in the next few years---- as opportunities open and close with closure the name of the game; as time becomes the enemy and not the friend of bad government; as the best of our youthful energies are ground down by certain Guyanese politicians who care only about their narrow interests and their wide pockets; as consumption taxes by the antiquated mentality of the Jagdeo regime continue to render our youth consumers of inferior products; as the current Jagdeo regime with its anti-youth mentality continues to misuse our national wealth and to deploy mistaken strategies in creating new wealth while bringing a gloom to our youth in such areas as water, electricity, crime, joblessness and relevant housing; as Mr. Jagdeo pretends to be with the youth of Guyana while serving the special interests of his narrow ideology----in the next few years the youth of Guyana will have to "seize the time" and use the next election to change the very future of Guyana.

Our youth deserves better and a viable political vision is needed to really bring that about. Events over the last few years have shown the youth of Guyana that the current leadership of our beloved country is really a mirage placed there by antiquated leaders and ideas to confuse our youth. Mr. Jagdeo is really an "old" leader because he practices and follows old and antiquated ideas. His remedies for our political and economic backwardness have been tried and failed in many parts of the globe--more bureaucracy, more taxes, a leftist-socialist approach to economics and a good try at "cucufulment", to confuse our youth with his energetic incursions whereever there is a public gathering. In the meantime there are really more economic pressures on our youth as jobs , money and confidence slip as Mr.Jagdeo's policies get our nation more and more into a depressed state. With the Gang of 8 in Freedom House running Mr. Jagdeo's presidency and Mr. Luncheon "looking" over his back at every decision taken by him, the youth of Guyana can never get anywhere because this Gang is a dedicated set of communists committed to their narrow ideology--a failed doctrine of class struggle which the youth of Guyana certainly do not want .

Instead our young people need politicians dedicated to change, change and more change.

We need to change our educational system to compete in this hemisphere and to facilitate the return of our people; we need to change the whole tariff system to facilitate consumerism of better goods by our youth; we need to plunge into a serious government of real National Coalition in order to jump-start the economy to create good jobs for our young people; we need to extend and deepen the democracy which President Cheddi Jagan left us with change in the electoral system to reflect not party paramountcy (as the list system provides) but people paramountcy (with the constituency system); we need to change the Government apparatus by decreasing the bureauracy and de-centralizing power to more local control thus involving youths more in running their own affairs; we need to change our policies in order to exploit our natural resources quickly in order to stop borrowing away our youth's future; we need to open up new areas in agro-industry to involve our youth in entrepreneurial small farming; we need to develop quickly ,training schools to teach our youth new skills in order to face the rapidly changing world we live in; we need to open up new areas of entertainment, better the facilities which our youth gravitate to and make their leisure time much more fulfilling; we need to re-establish family values by involving religious leaders to bring to our youth a new sense of moral responsibility and a hatred for the corruption endemic in our society; finally, we need to really get our youth prepared to face the future with confidence in themselves and their country by really giving them a real stake in our society.

In closing, I would like to comment on the controversy created by Mr.Kissoon in his comments on Mr.Naipaul and the Nobel Prize--I do not agree with certain things which Mr.Naipaul wrote about in his literary career but I am offended by the brazen impertinence on Mr.Kissoon's part to criticize a great writer who every West Indian should be proud of. Life is not perfect and writers like Mr.Naipaul exist in contradictory times but his literary contribution to our West Indian culture is like a bright comet in the sky--Naipaul's comet. Mr. Kissoon should be ashamed of himself and I hereby award him the "Blowbile" prize. He should remember what Confucius said:

"Wisdom is when you know a thing, to recognize that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to recognize that you do not know it ."

In the recent letter David Hinds [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] proves once again (as in his previous letter when he tried to diminish me by attacking my father) that his intellectuality is really transmuted by his verbosity as he partially supports Kissoon on the Naipaul issue while again denigrating my father and godfather in his confusing "babble" about the psyche of West Indians.

Yours faithfully,

Cheddi (Joey) Jagan (Jr.)