Let's have some positive suggestions and stop the muckraking
February 16, 2004
Please allow me to comment on the plethora of letters and articles in SN regarding Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj, the Phantom Squad and now the Khemraj Ramjattan saga.
It is an all-too-familiar spectacle that unfolds before our eyes to see supporters/ detractors attempt to score political points or cajole sympathy for their newfound heroes/villains - the besieged Minister, the murderous Phantom Squad and the candid Attorney.
Long time comrades turn into implacable foes overnight. Bitter rivals kiss and make up. Criminal gang members once demonised are welcomed as prodigals. Individuals, Politicians, and Organizations decried for their shenanigans are projected as paragons of every conceivable virtue. What should the citizen make of all this?
The parting of ways or the coming together of groups or individuals on these grave matters has little to do with ideology or any lofty moral purpose; the arguments by most of the commentators support that conclusion. And this is good enough reason for the ordinary man and woman steeped in cynicism to vent their spleen. Today, more than ever before, one should feel free to tarnish the entire political class with the same brush. The political leadership in all the parties is falling prey to expediency and opportunism. Their craven subservience to their own special interest group do not permit them to pay much heed to the overwhelming majority of people mired in misery and marginalized by a system designed to safeguard the interests of the affluent.
To argue in this vein, however, is to stretch the limits of cynicism.
The unprincipled alliances or parting of ways can and do provoke much righteous indignation. However, anyone who cares to look below this tidal wave will have to acknowledge that there is a bulk of good people who subscribe to the good and welfare of all citizens on a number of critical issues important to Guyana. For example investment, jobs, strengthened social infrastructure, global competitiveness etc. While no one is suggesting to sweep the dirt under the rug and cover its stench, the emphasis should be on providing basic amenities to the deprived - health care, potable water, power, roads, schools, telephones and yes, that elusive security for people in the streets and in their homes.
I fervently hope that the people will no longer be seduced with populist pro-mises or self-serving rhetoric about 'cultural nationalism' and 'social justice' and 'good governance' and 'rule of law'. Those who demand or exhort these values sound less and less convincing.
So, can some of these articulate letter writers and their supporters start dazzling us with brilliant suggestions that are of productive use and stop the muckraking?