Viewpoint|Authors seeking to misrepresent LFS Burnham’s contributions demean themselves

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Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham

Baytoram Ramharack is the most recent pen commissioned to disingenuously revisit Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham’s contribution to the country he loved, led to independence and Republican status. A country with a diverse population which he sought to mould into a nation of One People with One Destiny. The hired and hirer(s) behind the new fabrication to misrepresent LFS Burnham’s contributions is demeaning to themselves not he who they are hoping to malign.

The attempts to twist history to promote a narrative of an ‘evil Burnham’ did not escape rebuttal in the media, notable of whom is fellow academic Dr. Rishee Thakur, who stated Ramharack’s hero, Balram Singh Rai, did not escape the external influences impacting local politics in the early Cold War era. Thakur goes further to say, “What is worrying is the effort to demonise Burnham and allow Uncle Sam [the United States] a free ride” (Stabroek News: November 15, 2021 ‘I believe…).

There is doubt many would oppose objective revisiting of early Guyana’s history that involved Burnham, Cheddie Jagan, Rai, Martin Carter, etc. Where rejection comes is the subjective and dishonest review of Burnham, as his other political contemporaries are ignored or when written of presented as angels. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Selective biases only serve as confirmation that those who commissioned this deceptive job have no interest in objective review of history, no commitment to the truth in chronicling the life and contributions of Burnham and others of his time. Some argue, not without justification, that the named academic is either unmindful of the desecration he brings to his profession or doesn’t care because the price is right and motive dishonourable.

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Thankfully, people no longer source/receive information/knowledge solely from private media that profits off of deception and sowing seeds of division. Time has been the best judge of the works of LFS Burnham and the PNC. Attempts to demonise Burnham, to dismiss everything he did without placing in context the era he operated in, the internal racial strife-akin to a minefield- he navigated to forge a new nation offers insight into a wrapped mind.

To also ignore reliance of authoritative sourcing to concepts portrays disregard for the standards of basic academic rigours. Any credible reading of Burnham must not ignore the aforesaid because where these foundational truths are absent the review is wishy washy, without credibility. Another apparent sinister factor that may have motivated the pseudo review is to deny supporters of the PNC- a party whose base is significantly of African descent- a role model.

When people are stripped of legitimate role models they are being stripped of identity, sense of worth and value in society. People without a proud identity are easily influenced, manipulated, taken advantage of and their subservient treatment justified. This is well chronicled in chattel slavery and colonial experiences where the marginalised were influenced to believe the horrid stories of the oppressors as heroic or morally upstanding, and the oppressed as villains.

Dr. Ramharack’s writing on Burnham lends perception that he is an academic without honour, a man incapable to objectively write of or speak of the Honourable LFS Burnham. No Indian Guyanese would do to Jagan or Rai what Ramharack is commissioned to do to Burnham. No Indian Guyanese would accept it and were such a writer a man of African descent, he would have suffered a similar attack as Professor Kean Gibson did for daring to write “The Cycle Of Racial Oppression in Guyana”.

But such is the story of African struggles, dignity, and mental oppression. Africans and supporters of the PNC need to say enough is enough to these commissioned pens as well as the so-called intellectual author(s) who drive wedges of hate in our society and perpetuate historical myths and lies.



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