Letter to the Editor
Any monument/memorial which reminds us about horror of man’s cruelty to his fellow man ought to be built. Such a reminder, hopefully, can ensure it does not reoccur in Guyana. Who can have any problem with the 1823 slave commemoration monument? Who can even have a problem with a memorial which commemorates the 1913 Rose Hall Uprising and the 1964 massacre of Indians at Wismar? In fact, the PNC found the 26 May 1964 so significant it selected the anniversary of the Wismar massacre to proclaim independence from the British.
Didn’t the PNC find the date most propitious and symbolic in its long quest for freedom for all Guyanese? It’s an excellent symbol of equality which the PPP/C government can make; unless its socialist polices find such things distasteful. Undoubtedly the 1823 slave rebellion was a milestone in better rights for all. So any rethinking which the PPP/C government does in locating the 1823 monument in consideration to the opposition APNU and AFC cannot hurt anyone.
No doubt the opposition would have no problems in proudly supporting the Wismar monument. Should taxpayers pay for both monuments? A monument is an asset to understanding one country, its history and culture. Look at the Lincoln monument in Washington DC. It is a magnificent edifice telling the story of American unjust laws against
slavery. Consequently, Guyanese must have national monuments which remind us of inhumanity to Indo Guyanese. It’s just part of our national history. Permission and facilitation should be the government’s main contributions with taxpayers funding to be decided.
Since Indians do not seem opposed to the erection of either the 1823 or Cuffy monuments there should be some relief when the Wismar monument is erected at a suitable location. In fact the symbolic presence of a replica of the Hesperus which brought the first batch of Indian immigrants to Guyana should also be symbolically mounted in a prominent location.
Such monuments serve to remind us of our ugly history, for example, the Queen Victoria statue in front the law courts. Our monuments should inspire our citizens to move forward and elect leaders of exemplary status to represent all our races for a better Guyana. Can’t we all get along?
Note – The Indian Reparation Committee will meet same place to demand reparations from the Whiteman and the African man.