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The story of Anna reminds society of the importance of socialisation to human behaviour. Behavioural theorists have established that human beings are born as empty slates and their minds can therefore be moulded into anything during early childhood years. It was confirmed with Anna, the first feral child, raised in the wild by primates who when found by humans demonstrated no human-like behaviour or attitude but rather behaved in ways more like her primate family. What is observed is that though born with the potential to be human, it is only through nurturing that that human potential is realised.
Minister Priya Manickhand is a leading woman in Guyana and holds a very important post as minister responsible for the education of Guyanese. She has the potential to be a good human role model, a woman of class, dignity, intellectual honesty and integrity. She is a public figure and has demonstrated that more important than her potential is that which she was socialised to be. A woman in high office whose credibility can be questioned. A woman whose behaviour, if she is not careful, could be aligned with what the British would refer to as a commoner, not by birth status but behaviour, and we in Guyana would say an ordinary woman.
She has to be mindful, given her senior ministerial portfolio, and its role in the moulding of young impressionable minds, that she does not convey to our vulnerable what is not her intent. Minister Manickchand needs not forget, for society has not, that her behaviour was called a “feral blast” by none other than People’s Progressive Party/Civic Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon. This description was used to describe her infamous presentation at the United States Embassy, where she was an invited guest of the Ambassador.
“Feral blast” is not a complimentary statement, particularly given the fact of what those words signified. By labelling her behaviour as animal-like, with an animal-like crudity of an untamed, wild and rabid beast, Dr. Luncheon has signalled to society the nature of the being that is Priya Manickchand. Feral, even though it refers to animal, is a term more associated with the undomesticated and untamed ones.
When people think about feral animals, to the learned amongst us, Anna would come to mind- a human being whose potential was warped through socialisation. Yet it is the title the Minister seems to wear with pride. Dr. Luncheon also never withdrew that untamed, uncontrolled image of her that he presented to the public. And he knows her more than most. He knows and understands her potential as well as her socialisation. It is fair to ask when her behaviour is observed in social media (Facebook) whether it was a slip of Dr. Luncheon’s tongue or the mouth reveals what the mind thinketh.
This Minister, in an untamed, irrational display of emotions stood in the 11th Parliament and in order to resist removal screamed “rape, rape, rape.” What manner of woman would do this because rape is a serious allegation? The fact that she could scream in broad daylight, in the hallowed halls of Parliament, uttering such a damnable word against officers of the State trying to do their work, is a display of her socialisation, the level to which she would sink, and which she will take others in order to achieve her agenda and that of her political party.
The fact that Minister Manickchand could display such level of callousness and lack of caring for what that word means; the hurt, the cruelty, the savagery, the violence of that word; the damage to many human beings, especially women and children is a display of inelegance and lack of finesse that is very often associated with the title she wears as an Attorney-at-law, Member of Parliament and Minister of Government.
Her use of social media is demonstrating by her behaviour that she has little or no interest in moulding the nation positively. What social media users have come to expect from her, is not reasoned behaviour that is suitable for relationship and nation building, but political ‘feralism’ with one wild talk after another.