Now that a global pandemic is taking its toll on humanity, we will soon see countries putting a halt to migration. When this is done the Indo-Caribbean population would have no other choice but to secure the Caribbean as their homeland.
Blacks have been more willing and ready to migrate to the US and the UK than the Indians. In the 1950s following the end of the World War 2, Blacks migrated to take advantage of job opportunities in the rebuilding of the UK and the USA.
The mass of Indians, however, was tied to the fields and knew nothing of accessing opportunities in the UK or the US. Few migrated between the 1950s and 1970s. Nevertheless, in Guyana the first exodus began in the mid-1960s following open racial conflict on the streets of Georgetown, the looting and burning of businesses and the 1964 Wismar Massacre. After the stealing of the 1973 general elections, Indians only alternative was migration for survival. Had it not been for those disturbances and the racist policies of the Burnham dictatorship, Indo Guyanese would have stayed and continued building Guyana.
I have heard from Guyanese many stories of political crimes committed against Indo-Guyanese by the military, police and PNC thugs. Despite this, those who were successful in migrating have not returned to lend a hand with the exception of a few like Ravi Dev and Swami Aksharananda. While they would have their own challenges settling as migrants in their adopted homeland, I still believe that they have failed to give much thought to returning to Guyana.
Had successful Guyanese returned and settled in Guyana, the social mess it is in today would not have been happening. It was necessary for educated and successful Guyanese to lead by example. The model should have been the Jewish return to Israel, the Promised Land. Though the hostilities from the Palestinians and the Arab world at large were enormous, David Ben Gurion, Moshe Dayan, Ariel Sharon et al provided leadership to the returning Jewish people.
Huge armies have lost wars because of poor leadership. Families have fallen apart because of parents who failed to sacrifice for the next generation. The same can be said for many Guyanese who advocate change in the political culture of Guyana but choose to shout from abroad. Secluded and isolated in their social settings, they became complacent, losing all hopes and abandoning the society to the Blacks to run amok like the destructive rakshasas in the Dandaka forest.
Guyana needs to be “recolonized” by Indo-Guyanese. It is the only solution to the current crisis plaguing the country. Indians have to boldly claim Guyana as theirs, not New York, Miami or Toronto. Living like hermits in hostile territories, with no neighbours or community is no life. Such a life with some nourishing food and the comfort of a mansion is similar to the life of a dog in an air-conditioned kennel.
Kamal Persad of Indian Review has articulated the need for Bharatyadesh, a region comprising of Trinidad, Guyana and Suriname, as a homeland for Indian in the western hemisphere. This should be the focus and goal of every Indo Caribbean to struggle toward. Unfortunately, we have made these metropoles our homes and quite contented with an occasional return bearing a few gifts and gallon-full of solutions to the local problems.
Between 1992 and 2015 (23 years) before the coming to power of APNU/AFC, the PPP/C was in power but nothing was done to address the imbalance in the armed forces, police and bureaucracy. Politics is about power and it is only when a group has power that it can dictate policies. In Guyana, Trinidad and Suriname, the military, police and the bureaucracy continue to be skewed in favour of the blacks. With the exception of a few politicians, the average Indo-Caribbean politician do not see beyond constructing box drains and paving roads. Issues such as fundamental rights and freedoms become too abstract and beyond their grasp. Only the tangibles, what can be held in the hand and counted, become of paramount importance.
Twenty-two days and no declaration of the results of the March 02, 2020 is testimony to the truth that who control institutions of State control power. It is not that the Afro-Guyanese are evil. The truth is they can treat Indians with impunity and disdain because Indians continue to be insecure, weak and disorganized.
With the ongoing Coronavirus scare and the rising number of deaths, the politics in Guyana has been pushed to the background. There is no hope in CARICOM which has a history of turning a blind eye to the unlawful acts of black-majority leaders. Imagine CARICOM appointed six persons-all Africans, not a single Indian- to supervise the recounting of the votes! Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar’s hinting at the need for foreign observer missions in the upcoming general elections in Trinidad and Tobago was viciously attacked by the editorial of the Express newspaper.
The unilateral decision of the Elections and Boundaries Commission to extend the voting time by one hour in marginal constituencies in 2015 was ruled as wrong by the court but not necessarily influencing the outcome of the elections.
Power is only won by those who have boots on the ground. A campaign needs to be embarked upon to get Guyanese to leave the comforts of their air-conditioned kennels and spend a minimum of three months annually in Guyana. Also, Guyanese needs to make investments in the country if they have faith in a brighter future for Guyana.