Some Facts About Cheddi Jagan
Photo : Cheddi Jagan
March 22, 2018 marks the 100th Birth Anniversary of Dr Cheddi Jagan, the former President of Guyana.
- Between 1851-1917 228,743 Indians were brought into the country
- The Jagan came from Basti in UP and settled in Port Mourant Estate, Berbice.
- Cheddi was born on 22 March, 1918
- Cheddi was the 2nd of 12 children-7 boys and 5 girls
- After the death of his elder brother, he took the responsibility as head of his siblings.
- At age 30 his father became a driver in the estate.
- In 1933, at age 15, he was sent to Georgetown to enrol at Queen’s College
- 1936 he left for the USA with $500 BG- spent 2 years at Howard University in Washington, DC (a black university); 1938-42 he studied at Northwestern University Dental School (Chicago) and qualified with DDS-Doctor of Dental Surgery; and at Central YMCA College with a BSc.
- He met Janet Rosenberg and the common interest for the underdogs in society brought them together.
- Married on August 5, 1943 and returned to Guyana.
- His Marxist ideology was formed-“Whatever doubts he may have had about his Hindu or Indian or Guyanese background when he left, whatever social or historical bewilderment he may have felt at that time, all had become totally submerged in the Marxist ideas of state socialism and class struggle that he had absorbed during his years in the United States.
- Established a successful dental practice; embarked on trade union affairs
- 1947 became the youngest member of the Legislative Council of Guyana.
- “Cheddi Jagan was the first member of the Legislative Council to challenge the monopoly of that chamber by pro-government legislators whose business interests depended on public subsidies, preferential markets and the security which the colonial administration could provide, should industrial unrest get out of hand.”
- Jagan fought for increases in minimum wage level, improved health care; exposed the sugar companies access to public funds
- In 1947 he formed the Political Affairs Committee
- 1950 he formed the PPP…Cheddi was political leader and Forbes Burnham was Chairman.
(To be continued)