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By GHK Lall
On each occasion the thought comes that the tormenting dust will settle in this society, a Mon Repos arrives.
My sense was that I should wait a while, and assess the automatic reactions, the conclusions from the only ways that we have been conditioned to think, as embraced for being the sole truth.
I discard patience, and put the peculiar, if not contrarian, before fellow Guyanese. All I appeal for is openness to parsing through using the clearest faculties that we can employ. I hope that those have not been abandoned us, or have been willfully discarded by us.
Mon Repos is ugliness, madness, and vileness, and I say so without qualification. I denounce and damn. But in the raw and ripe aftermath, I peel back the many skins of the onion and it burns my eyes.
Maybe, there will be opening of those of other citizens. Mon Repos has been quickly condemned as political violence, which means that it can also be nothing but racial violence. While there is great appreciation that mobs don’t have minds and lose humanity, and that our politics lacks logic and morality, I still attempt to connect dots, as I look behind the veil that was, and will be, Mon Repos. I dare to do so, and I invite my fellows to follow with courage, sincerity, and wisdom.
Before proceeding, I run risk of the label of ‘PNC man’. The PNC has smarter, better, people than me to do that kind f representation. If the group needs the likes of me as an advocate, then it is in worse shape than imagined; also if this is considered a PNC narrative, then those thinking so are in a truly sad state since the PNC is still figuring out its own narrative on most things.
I remind that when calling for then President Granger to step down, I was condemned for being a traitor, hence a PPP agent. Considering both conclusions, it seems I could be the best billboard for the mythic ‘One Guyana’ man. I move forward.
First, the PNC needs votes, as by itself it doesn’t have enough, goes nowhere. Therefore, the worst development that some may lay at its feet could only be evaluated as reckless self-destructiveness, total foolishness. Mon Repos was such an exercise, in all of its wantonness and senselessness. Second, if Mon Repos was, indeed, a PNC creature, then it is the most half-baked, half-assed, and too clever by half authorship in recent years. It not only embarrasses party and leadership, but it also brings both into ridicule and the worst of disdain, which would be deserving, if due. Only if due.
Third, if this was indeed a PNC instigation, then reasonable questions could be asked of the objective(s) for what could only be an ill-fated venture with no returns, but negatives. As I grapple with this, the thinking comes that if the PNC (and if not the PNC, then what or whom?), desired to go down the East Coast and Mon Repos path, then it was not only ill-conceived, but ill-executed, since only the most terrible ill-will could result, and did.
Further, if a racial conflagration is intended, then a soggy, feeble, and at the end-of-its-rope candle is a nonstarter. To emphasize: it is a struggling to-the-fingertip matchstick that burns the agent and results in more scorching of self than environmental sizzle. Nothing makes sense here, adds up; yes, I did say earlier that our politics possesses no logic, no wisdom, no particular brightness. It does have cleverness, which I now approach gingerly.
Fourth, and this is the flip side of the coin, past protests under PPP Governments have been suspected of infiltration by clever PPP agents using Black mercenaries (think payoffs) to give off the very stain and stench that a Mon Repos makes irremovable; and to bring possibly legitimate protests into disrepute. Harshly, it is Blacks brutalizing Indians, and only the PNC could be responsible. Must be; discussion over, minds firmly shut. As conclusions go, nothing could be more final, unyielding, unbreakable. And automatic.
Now, I take those precedents and place them in Mon Repos, and ponder who is really responsible, for what visions, and leaving where. I am building my answers to beyond the PNC and the ‘Black is bad’ messages. Look, I have to be unsparing, let the chips fall. The PPP has its dirty tricks men in reserve for slow, careful release (like Tylenol tablets).
They are not squeamish, they have resources, and they are resourceful. I remind of the well-crafted evils that they have delivered on others using various avenues, ranging from the street to cyberspace, and anything in between. I ask citizens not to rule out anything, or anyone.
Fifth, there have been protests, calls for more protests, and slow, but increasing responsiveness to protests. In a word, traction; in two phrases -population stirrings, population risings. Be it about oil, or governance, or justice, protests are rippling, and a wave is threatened. It is better to move and strangle in the cradle, before things really develop muscle and get out of hand.
It is my belief that some of this were at work in what happened at Mon Repos. Especially that calls are going out for countrywide protests, bringing matters to a halt, and letting local leaders know where they stand. And where the people are. From a PPP Government outlook, nothing could be more menacing than groups of Black and Indian Guyanese (definitely still tiny) gathering to raise voice and attention against it. Thus, what started out peacefully and simply in Golden Grove offered the opening to transform the arena (and narrative) to the usual Black madness and Indian weakness. The end result is that the other side gets the bill for blame, there can be no other. And, so we are back to the 1960s and square one.
All of this is sure to raise rage and rancor. But I can still think. I am still free. Here I stand.