Indian Arrival body condemns ethnically-exclusive cricket match
September 5, 2003
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The Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) has condemned what it describes as a ‘worrying development’ whereby the Guyana Indian Heritage Association (GIHA) is attempting to use sports to “pursue a political agenda under the pretext of Indo-Guyanese advancement.”
A release from the IAC said that it felt strongly that the promotion of ethnically-exclusive sporting events such as the “improperly-named GIHA Jahaji cricket match” to be played shortly between Indo-Guyanese cricketers from Berbice and Demerara, “is myopic, anachronistic, anti-national and has the ability to inflict psychological damage to the minds of young, impressionable and unsuspecting sportsmen.”
The organisation said that it condemned “this ill-advised decision by GIHA to use the popular game of cricket, which historically has served to bridge ethnic and socio-economic divisions in our society, to serve narrow political and personal interests and to promote ethnic divisiveness.”
The IAC said that if the match were to be played and to truly reflect its original purpose, GIHA should drop the name ‘Jahaji’ which had political connotations and instead rename the match the ‘Baldeo Chaitram Memorial Match’ in memory of the ROAR executive member and organising secretary who died by accident.
The IAC is also urging GIHA to include non Indo-Guyanese cricketers so as to properly honour the now departed Indo-Guyanese cricket enthusiast.
The release further urged GIHA and other like-minded organizations to desist from pursuing divisive strategies since such endeavours could only have a negative influence in the society, and promote ethnic divisions between the country’s sportspersons.
“The IAC believes that such enterprises would have debilitating effects on young Indo-Guyanese sportsmen and women. The IAC encourages, promotes and supports all sporting and social activities which will serve to strengthen cohesiveness of our society and promote national unity,” the release said.