The naming of May 5th as Arrival Day, is an act of gross disrespect to all the peoples who came to Guyana. The PPP Government did not name May 5th as Indian Arrival Day even though it was on this very day in 1838 that the first Indian Immigrants set foot on this mud flat. According to historian Tota Mangar-“Within recent years, the meaning of the day has certainly broadened, both in context and scope, to fittingly include all ethnic groups which came as indentured labourers.” G.C.05/05/2021.
Something has to be fundamentally wrong with any historian who is au fait with this insult as are the persons who in the first place decided to make May 5th an occasion to “include all groups who came.” Indians alone arrived on May 5th so how does that translate to include “all” others? This is a slap in the face of Indians and also to “all” the other ethnic groups of Guyana. What this Government comes across as saying to the other Ethnic groups is that YOU ALL ARE NOT IMPORTANT ENOUGH to have the day that your ancestors first set foot on these shores as a Holiday. And in our (P.P.P) view, your contributions to Guyana from then to now is UNIMPORTANT to have a special day dedicated to you. And to the Indians whose ancestors set foot on this land on May 5th, the P.P.P. is telling them that YOU ARE NOT IMPORTANT enough to have your Arrival day dedicated to you solely.
The INSULT of making May 5th Arrival Day dedicated to ALL ethnic groups and not to Indians is an affront. Those with a modicum of self-worth and are silent about this insult by the very people who will not be enjoying the powers that they are wallowing today; is equally guilty. In fact, had the descendants of the people who arrived on May 5th not voted for the very people who cannot recognise their value(their own to besides) is beyond neemak harami.
That the other ethnic groups are silent to this shameful act towards themselves and their ancestors too is beyond comprehension. Apart from the First Peoples (they too came from other places, according to The People Who Came), all of us came from somewhere. Africans came as Indentured Servants even before they arrived as Slaves and later more came again as Indentured. So even the descendants of these people who may be chortlings at the rest of us because they have Emancipation day specially dedicated to their ancestors- they have also been lumped in with the rest of us descendants of other races!
As another May 5th comes once again, it is time that the citizens of Guyana, let those who traverse the corridors of Parliament and State House, be aware that they cannot continue to insult the very people who put them there. And also remind them that while they(P.P.P) have forgotten their ancestors, that it is because of their ancestors’ sacrifice that we can all enjoy what we have today. It is time that the people make these politicians aware of their duty to respect elders/ancestors as they seem to have forgot.