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|THE ISSUE OF FATHER OF THE NATION - Granger’s dislike for Cheddi Jagan is greater than his love for Forbes Burnham|
|Tuesday, 17 July 2012 21:29|
DAVID Granger began a discussion on the issue of ‘father of the nation’ when he made his speech at a Parliamentary lecture. (Don’t know what Parliament is getting into by sponsoring such events). His great bias against Cheddi Jagan came to the fore.
In trying to destroy the image of Cheddi Jagan being called the ‘father of the nation’ he had to, he was forced to, also rule out Burnham as such a person. That is the price he had to pay. It shows his dislike for Cheddi Jagan is greater than his love for Burnham.
This is not surprising. Granger spent his most impressionable years in the Army. At that time the PNC dictatorship had to demonise Cheddi Jagan to prevent the Army from listening to Jagan’s message. Demonising the messenger to nullify the message. Bias against Cheddi Jagan is deeply rooted in his psyche.
Granger took that propaganda hook, line and sinker. He even developed into the head lecturer and chief brain washer in the Army.
However, the issue he raised is really a non issue.
There is no official title of ‘Father of the Nation’. So such a title cannot be bestowed on anyone.
That Cheddi Jagan is often referred to as the ‘Father of the Nation’ is a reflection of the affection and love that people had and have for him.
After all, no one doubts that he was one of the first, if not the first, to make a call for Independence.
That was not all. He worked tirelessly to see that happen. He built organizations, he was the foremost contributor to the emergence of a national consciousness. He walked the length and breadth of the country learning from people, understanding their conditions and teaching them.
For him, Independence was a first step towards social liberation. In that project he saw the working class as playing a leading role.
That is why he never sold out. That is why the colonialists and later the US cold warriors could not buy him out. He was loyal to the people of Guyana. He was exemplary in this regard.
An examination of his life and work would reveal that at every stage of this country’s development during his life time he influenced developments and explained new phenomenon so that all could understand what was taking place.
He also made much sacrifice in the struggle. Cheddi Jagan faced jail, even with the threat of death he was resolute and stood firm. He had no other agenda than the welfare of the people.
The debate often comes around about the split and some say that he was too inflexible. That, of course, was not true. Cheddi Jagan had one of the most creative minds we ever produced; he was one of the most flexible persons you could have known. Just read the Political Affairs Bulletin and see how flexible he was, even though he was still so young.
In Government in the 1960s and 1990s he worked with the private sector, the IMF and World Bank, in the interest of the country. To develop the productive capacity of Guyana, Cheddi Jagan was creative and was willing to create partnerships and alliances. Growing the economy was in the interest of all.
For Jagan, the interests of the nation and that of the poor should not necessarily collide. They can go together.
However, he was inflexible and stood firm on principles. He warned them that the compromises which some of his colleagues were pushing to make with the oppressors after the suspension in 1953 Constitution and the removal of the PPP from office was tantamount to selling out the working people in particular and the nation as a whole.
We can only judge things in practice and, in time, pronounced on who was right and who was wrong.
Those who compromised on principle got their reward. They were put into government before independence. What did they achieve?
They had to work to divide our people; they had to sign agreements that were anti-national in content to use against the PPP. For example they opened talks on border issues with Venezuela when that matter was signed and sealed. This still haunts us today.
Instead of building our country they destroyed it when they acquiesced with foreign interests and stamped democracy to the ground.
Whatever good intention they may have had did not materialize because they compromised on principles.
That Cheddi Jagan is so loved is because he always stood on the side of the people, he organized the struggle and he educated masses.
Cheddi don’t need any official to bestow such a title on him, the broad masses of grateful people consider him as such.
So down the corridors of time the name Cheddi Jagan will be heralded because he was a loyal son of Guyana, teacher of the people and yes, father of the nation.
This will happen despite the huge prejudice of Granger and others of his ilk.
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