All are equal, but some are more equal than others?
February 26, 2004
FRANCOIS Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire, wrote: "I may not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Given the current political climate in Guyana, one is inclined to believe that we no longer (if ever) live in a country in which an individual is allowed to speak his/her mind without being concerned about what action the political demagogues will pursue.
Most obviously, I am referring to the current situation that has embroiled Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan. It is not merely appalling, but a horrendous and grotesque demonstration of the PPP's extreme brand of institutionalized mendacity and denial that shocks and assaults the intellect of Guyana's citizens. That a long-standing, honest, and respected member of its hierarchy could be so thoroughly and crudely dealt with, is frightening, as this sort of behaviour could easily be directed at the ordinary Guyanese citizen.
What crime did Mr. Ramjattan commit that warranted such action? Simply to dissent has clearly become intolerable to the PPP. This is particularly hypocritical, as it is the same party that categorically and stubbornly refuses to launch a credible investigation into an issue that impinges on the safety and security of the country. What has happened to that? Is it not considered serious enough that it warrants the sort of time and effort expended on discounting Mr. Ramjattan's "statements"?
Recently, an editorial in the SN described the PPP as being rather more Leninist than Marxist. Unfortunately, this description and analysis are absolutely appropriate. We have just witnessed, in full public view, the demise of any pretense to democracy in Guyana. Individualism is dead, with the exception of the right of the individual to agree with the ruling party. It is particularly Orwellian in nature, as we are now living in a state not dissimilar to "Animal Farm". All are equal, but some are more equal than others. We are collectively witnessing governance, not for the people, but against the people.
It would be instructive for the ruling party to observe that no amount of the current prevarication and propaganda will obscure the truth for posterity. Most notably, the example of what happened to Dr. Walter Rodney eventually came to light. Injustice and oppression have always had limited periods of existence, anywhere.