Change the national pledge
- Eddy Grant
Stabroek News
March 3, 2004

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Guyanese reggae superstar Eddy Grant is of the opinion that the National Pledge should be altered to focus on "love of oneself".

"The pledge should be changed. It was written at a time when the people came out of colonisation and [had] a certain mindset whereby the love of self was not seen as a paramount importance. ... it is endemic in the very consciousness of those who seek to either enslave or colonise us, for Guyana and its people to go forward there must be at the centre of our thoughts, the pledge, which puts after God, ourselves."

Grant's thoughts on the change of the pledge were triggered while he was talking with some friends who were discussing the importance of a national pledge. Grant said when he took a second look at the pledge he noticed that nowhere within its lines was self love addressed. "Discipline is very quickly being eroded from this country; discipline is the foundation where everything is built, it is not money or technology that makes us progress."

Grant said love of oneself and serious value for oneself allows one to conceptualise and create. These, he indicated, are some of the tenets of the 'Ring Bang' philosophy.

Grant made his first appeal for a change in the pledge when he did an interview with Grantley Walrond for Black History Month. He says there was a breach of conduct by the television station when they cut his answers because of advertisements. "To persons who saw the programme it appeared as if it was done on purpose - while I don't think so, the silence from the government and others who have the capacity to change it [the pledge] could be quite telling."

He also suggests that within the Caribbean and all other societies that have been enslaved and or colonised, citizens ought to seriously revisit their pledges and anthems.