Brinsley Samaroo, Presbyterianism & Religious Bigotry, Dookeran, and Ramchand
With Guyana’s High Commissioner to India being recalled, one of Indo-Caribbean’s illustrious leaders, Dr. Vishnu Bisram, might be an excellent replacement, if he is inclined to serve in that area. When I visited India ten years ago, I was surprised that the hotel owner there knew President Jagdeo and Dr. Bisram who has traveled widely as a roving Ambassador. Dr. Bisram is well connected with folks across India. He has the temperament, humility, and as a practicing Hindu will fit in well in the India setting.
Our President Ali has done the right thing recalling Mr. Charrandass Persaud (CP) as our High Commissioner to India. Mr. CP is to be commended for agreeing that is the wisest course of action. I do not remember an Ambassador level person being recalled. If the President is going down the road of the “Kamla Way” of doing things then that’s a good sign for Guyana. (The “Kamla Way” refers to Prime Minister Kamla Persaud-Bissessar of Trinidad removing several Ministers who have fallen short of expectations). Since CP’s misconduct is similar to what “Minister Dildo” did, I call on our President to similarly remove that Minister to signal a new moral tone to his Government. That Minister was allowed to continue in his position with zero censure from anyone on the PPP Government’s side including the women Ministers, one of whom is the leader of the main Hindu organization in Guyana. The Women & Gender Equality Commission and other women’s groups were silent, as many are now silent in the local issues of the alleged recent assault and gunbutting of Ms. Kamala Bharrat by a PPP operative. Same silence for the violence against women in the Mon Repos and West Coast Berbice riots. Any Government functionary who operates in the “stink and dutty” genre is unfit to remain in public office. If President Ali raises the bar for conduct of public officials by employing the “Kamla Way,” Government functionaries would be more careful about their public conduct. He should not tolerate political miscreants harming the reputation of his Government.
CP is not the only one in Government who acts with arrogance and cusses at people. There are other “little Caesars” in the Government, NDCs and the Opposition and they should be weeded out of public office wherever they are found. The people should report such folks to the Office of the President and the Independent media – KN and SN.
Notwithstanding his fall, Mr. CP is a national hero for taking a righteous stand and bringing down his own AFC/PNC Government that had lost its way. His “no confidence” vote against his own party was an example to all MPs that sometimes independence is needed to save the country. CP took a stand when it mattered most. Sadly, CP apparently got into trouble just 5 months into his High Commissioner appointment. It was a bad start that ended in his downfall. The lesson to be learned by high level folks in Government is not to be arrogant and “cuss” at people, and to remember that karma will catch up with you. Hindu Dharma teaches that we treat younger women as sisters and older women as our mothers. CP apparently forgot those basic teachings.
Several questions arise in this “Indiagate” scandal. If this incident happened in August 2021, why are we hearing about it only now? The President seems to be indicating that he just knew about it when someone sent him a video by WhatsApp. The question arises whether the Ministry of Foreign Affairs withheld information from the President. If so, will people there be censured? Was the President/VP/PM/Cabinet kept in the dark deliberately? We need full disclosure from that Ministry headed by a neophyte Minister. The President in his speech indicated that when he saw the video, he was compelled to remove CP, as the incident besmirched the good name of our country. Who released the video, and why only now? What did the President know, and when did he know it? What flaws in our process allows for keeping the President and Foreign Minister in the dark? Our investigative journalists must go to work and provide answers if the Government will not tell.
As the Government looks for a replacement Ambassador, it may want to consider the highly educated Dr. Vishnu Bisram who is well known and respected in India. That would show sincerity about Diaspora involvement and contribution to Guyana’s development, as well as redeem our reputation in India.
Dr. Jerry Jailall