Humanity prevailed in spite of this tragedy
Stabroek News
January 6, 2002

Dear Editor,

C.N Sharma was on recently about a horrific story. If true, on December 3rd a policeman went into the home of Brian King, a minibus driver, dragged him out in front of his family, put a gun to his mouth and shot him. He died on New Year's Day leaving a young wife and baby daughter.
His crime? According to the story, he had complained about police harassment on Sharma's TV show some time earlier, and the policeman was now alleging that he had assaulted a minibus conductor.
Sure enough, there was the replay of him complaining, there was a picture of him with the bullet-wound to his mouth, and now, his hopelessly despaired grieving wife with the baby in arms, live on TV.
Brian was the breadwinner, she related in tears, now she had no money and no one to depend on. No food for the baby, rent in arrears, this poor woman was desperate. Among his last words to her, "if anything happen to me, go back to Sharma," she told the audience. So there she was.
I was aghast. If this unspeakable incident had indeed occurred, what on earth had Guyana come to? Would we soon have a police state? What was the point of remaining in this seemingly Godforsaken land? Was there any hope for us? These thoughts raced through my mind, and I am sure so many others'.
Then something extraordinary happened. Or maybe, not extraordinary at all.
In the midst of Sharma's ranting and raving, something cracked in Guyana, at least for those watching the show.
One of the moderators instinctively went into his pocket, took out some money and gave Brian's wife. He had hardly replaced his wallet when it began. Another moderator followed suit. The camera switched to the door, people were at the door! The upstairs neighbour, a twelve-year-old girl gave her pocket money, a ten year old, the hairdresser round the corner. They came young and old, in all races, ages, pursuits. Some well dressed, some not. Business representatives, poor people, not so poor people. A lady watching from home got dressed and went down to contribute. Five hundred here, a thousand there. A big strong man broke down and cried. He had to come he said. A Guyanese visitor from overseas instinctively leaned down and kissed the little lady and played with the baby. Little children. Their hearts all went out to this poor woman, and in an expression of true kindness that transcended race, age, wealth, politics and any other social barrier they demonstrated what Guyanese were really all about.
Humanity had prevailed in spite of this tragedy I concluded, and for me it restored my hope for tomorrow, and my sense of pride in being Guyanese.

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)