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The Mayor of Georgetown, Pandit Ubraj Narine, sinned. In fact, given the raging reactions of the extended PPP family, it is clear to me that Mayor Narine committed the worst of sins: he exposed a family secret. Like incest, or child molestation, or closeted violence, the greatest care is exercised in keeping things in the family, working round the clock to ensure that not a stray word escapes the family unit. When the mayor took to the public stage, therefore, and opened his mouth, he let the cat out of the bag. It is a highly agitated cat that most Guyanese know stirs restlessly for expression.
Pointing a sharp and hard finger at the PPP Government about discrimination is bad enough. I know about that, and have heard it; but that doesn’t faze some of us in the least. But to raise voice and utter a single word about the other piece of family (inside) business of which Mayor Narine had the temerity, the audacity, and the untidy duty to take it upon himself to deliver, that was something that must not be allowed to exist, but snuffed out of existence with every ounce of energy. PPP agencies and agents went to work, and the mayor had not just to be shown the sinfulness of his ways, he had to be made to feel pain.
Thinking of Ubraj Narine brought back memories of the Biblical John the Baptist. He also did speak sharply and frankly of the king, and look what they did to him. A quick scripture lesson should help. First, he lost his freedom of movement; then, he lost his freedom of speech; and, last, he lost his head. I hear concerned Guyanese speaking about the first two in that wretched trinity and, as much as they have serious bearing, I leave unaddressed at this time. My focus is that since when it is a crime, a problem, the equivalent of generating a media riot, to speak to truth in this country.
Because I have my own little truth that is shared with Guyanese today, though in much more muted manner than His Worship, Mayor Narine. What Mayor Narine had the guts to articulate in public, I have heard straight from the horse’s mouth, and from the inside of the PPP camp. I am not speaking at all about the usual racial discrimination. It is the other raw one. There is that broad strain of discontent and anger over arrangements that benefit one of the tinier subsets in the People’s Progressive Party. As I said at the beginning, it is the well-guarded political family secret. Well-guarded it may be, and under wraps thought to be, but frustrations and anxiousness about losing out have helped to push some over the edge, in that they vent their feelings.
There ought not to be any problem because it is not money out of anybody’s pocket, only the small matter of the taxpayers footing the bill (as usual) for whatever is arranged behind the scenes for the favored. The problem is that the business that some in the PPP believes with a passion should belong to them is going to others inside the cup. Where business and money are concerned, there is no political brotherhood; or any of the good cheer that visits other issues, those in the public domain. So, people talk; at least, disturbed and distressed PPP personnel have made no bones about where they stand. But on a limited basis, only with those they have longstanding relationships with, and always with a view to deniability. It is a slippery surface, and this is what Mayor Narine rushed headlong into, only for many feet to uncoil and kick him to his senses.
Not in public! Not some subjects! Come on, brother: some things are just not said, but lips sealed and faces blank in the normal pretense of one happy national family. The fact that Ubraj Narine is of a certain persuasion makes him into an even more inviting target. It is not his politics. So, why not let him have it, which is exactly what rained down on his reckless head, in a series of public executioners’ strikes. Guyanese should checkout what was the fate of John the Baptist.
As a nation of diverse peoples, we will be successful in continuing with these patented deceptions and hypocrisies for only so long. Truth and facts and circumstances all have a way of rising to the light; light itself can only be suppressed for a time. It usually finds a way for a ray to seep into the public consciousness. Stalin and Lenin locked down things in the old USSR, the madmen over in Germany did the same, while America helped Pinochet to do so in Chile, and did the same as well for Burnham in Guyana. In every instance, the shining light emerged from under the blankets and took over. This was what was occurring, this is what is present. Guyanese are exposed enough, educated enough, and connected enough to appreciate what is presented. They can lie, deny, and decry, but Mayor Narine has spoken. There has been hell to pay. Now, the genie is out of bottle, and it can’t be put back inside.