Thursday, December 17, 2009

Not all Guyanese who have some measure of success are guilty of wrongdoing.

Dr Randy Persaud: I cannot help but to offer my comments on the unrelenting onslaught against the Government of Guyana and others by GHK Lall. Over the past week Lall has made numerous allegations against government officials, businessmen and women, and everyday citizens. In one fell swoop, Lall has accused the entire nation of being drug pushers, hustlers, thieves, and assassins.

In one of his now familiar Stabroek News letters, Lall suggests that drug-money has seeped into every nook and cranny in Guyana. No evidence for this claim is provided. Instead of providing evidence, Lall rails against the amount of houses being built and the amount cars being sold in the country. In fact, the simplest act of consumption can get you into trouble in political economy of GHK Lall. Be careful, because the nation is now subjected to panoptic eyes that scan the landscape and can put you on public trial in the letter section of Stabroek News. Your conviction is guaranteed.

Lall is obviously a learned individual and a fine writer. He should not, however, sacrifice clarity for erudition. Too many wild claims are made, and all too often, words and expressions of art replace the basic minimum of social scientific grounding.

It is unfair for Lall and others to attack all Guyanese businesses and home owners. It is also unfair to impute impropriety to customers who go out and shop for household items or those who drive nice vehicles. Those who carry out these blanket attacks must recognise that Guyana has a solid middle class and upper middle class. It also has a legitimate ‘business class’ whose members have real purchasing power. Thousands of them can and do buy cell phones for their children and give them generous allowances. That is their right. Most earned their money through hard work or careful investing and no letter writer should attempt to take that away. Lall should stop stigmatising innocent children and their parents.

The naysayers are bent on portraying Guyana as a failed this and that. In this framework of gloom any sign of success is quickly reduced to nothing through baseless personal attacks. In Lall’s world all of those people who live in nice houses and nice neighbourhoods are guilty of something fishy. That would include all the people living in Lamaha Gardens, Bel Air Park, Bel Air Springs, Happy Acres, Subryanville, Republic Park, Nandy Park, Continental Park, New Providence, Queenstown, Atlantic Gardens, Oleander Gardens, Prashad Nagar, Rahaman’s Park, Shamrock Gardens, Eccles AA, Diamond New Scheme, South Ruimveldt Gardens, Alberttown, Ogle, Thirst Park, Peter’s Hall, Meadow Brook Gardens, Kersaint Park, D’Urban Back Lands, D’Urban Park, Courida Park, Blygezight Gardens, and Bel Air Gardens. It would also include everyone with a nice house or a car in Bartica, Linden, New Amsterdam, Skeldon, Parkia, and all across costal Guyana.

In Lall’s logic other categories of people would also be actively participating in various forms of illegality. The logic here being that they have nice houses, nice cars, and that they shop regularly for household items. Here is a short list of Lall’s culprits – all lawyers, magistrates, judges, doctors, accountants, managing directors, CEOs, military officers, senior police officers, principals, senior university lecturers and professors, all senior personnel who work for NGOs; all senior personnel who work for multilateral organisations, newspaper publishers, editors, columnists, T.V. anchors, owners of television stations, all senior management and administrative workers in the employ of government, all cabinet members past and present, all MPs, every regional chairman and REO. This is just a short list from Mr. Lall’s logic.

The time has come for commentators to make good use of the space they are allotted. Regrettably even the brightest among us have shunned that responsibility. GHK Lall is apparently the only letter writer in Stabroek news who can publish without any restraint. I urge him to use his intellect, learning, and access to print in a manner more consistent with the ideals he espouses. He has all that it takes to make a real contribution.

The best place for Lall to begin in pursuit of this ideal is to abandon the current standard of the SN letters. The current standard is this – All Guyanese who have some measure of success are guilty of wrongdoing. They are, so to speak, “Guilty until proven innocent.”

1 comment:

  1. There is just one flaw in the Dr. Persaud's letter, that he has asked Glen to use his intellect, the thing Glen cannot use what he doesn't have. He doesn't posses an intellect. It has been made known to all and sundry that Glen does not write the letters that are published under his name, his staff does it for him. His nephew (Regent Street Businessman)had pointed this out to me. Glen should also include himself when he paints every successful business as being involved in drugs since his sudden acquisition of huge amounts of wealth has raised eyebrows in this country.