A New Day in Guyana

 by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Professor of Economic History.

Sometimes it requires a personal rather than political or professional perspective to see beyond the borders of a seemingly divisive circumstance, and to offer a dispassionate comment.

I was named by my father after his cousin, Hilary Alfonso McDonald Beckles. “HAM Beck”, as he was called, was little known in our native Barbados, but his contribution to nation building in Guyana is well respected.

In the late 1940s he fled “Bim” for “BG”. He taught classics for near three decades at Queens College in Georgetown, where he also became principal.

His commitments to Guyana straddled the diverse ethnic and cultural scene. He married an Amerindian woman, and considered himself a research authority on Hindu culture and Indian civilization.

He admired the colony’s ethnic diversity and adopted the new nation of 1966 as his home. Supporting the nation’s dream for democratic development and the equality of ethnicities was his personal quest.

Through those eyes I came to embrace the wonderful land of a thousand rivers. I know something of its history and culture, including the good and the bad times evident in its turbulent journey to and beyond nationhood. It has been a torn and tortured terrain with divisive seeds sown in the colonial waters that nurture the rich land.

The determined evidence of the debilitating deployment of ethnic identity as expressions of indigenous nationalism can be seen in far too many places.

But, above it all, there is also the compelling story, in the history from sea walls to sugar estates, of commitment to the paramount principle that the will of the people should not be toppled, but respected.

The people have spoken. And so has the highest court. From the 2019-2020 electoral campaign and franchise exercise, their will is now known.

With much pain and sacrifice the process has been monitored and reviewed by CARICOM. The findings of the outcome should be declared and implemented. There is no other option that will be acceptable to the region and wider world.

The future of the nation is assured with the compliance of State to the popular will. The regional court is counting on the integrity of the polity to protect the democracy.

Fear of the future is not an acceptable explanation for franchise frustration in the present. Ethical conduct, and not ethnic constructs, is expected to rule when democracy is in need of advocacy.

The children of indigenous survivors, the chattel enslaved, the deceived indentured, and others in between, must now converge at the rendezvous of victory. The minority party should stay the course and continue to contribute to the sustainability and maturity of the integrated, multi-racial nation.

In this regard, despite the challenges of late, the nation has much to teach its region and the world beyond.

This year is the 40th anniversary of the violent taking of Walter Rodney’s life. It was forfeit because of the socially and politically integrated values he held most dear. He was from that generation of outstanding Guyanese scholars nurtured by HAM Beckles.

I join with the current and past Heads of CARICOM, the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves and the Honourable Mia Mottley respectively, and with the former Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Owen Arthur, in calling for the official embrace of the evidentiary truth of the election.

Every hour that the celebration of a new day is allowed to sour, the greater will be the tarnish on the varnish of the history of a great nation.

 

9 COMMENTS

  1. You make such a mockery of your election day,and then the mess of the vote counting,you should have educated and controled your clowns,and respected the wisdom of the people.

  2. You probably never understood the writer. That is so sad. That is not a roro topic; let the Guyanese people deal with their topic

  3. This is the problem I have with Caribbean intellectuals: they never come straight to the point in the name of diplomacy. Sir, why don’t you just be blunt? The truth is never controvertial. Speaking the truth is not construed as being bias or one-sided. The objective truth is exactly what it is and we should never compromise. I would appreciate your opinion immensely if you would come out and state clearly what exactly is your thought on the Guyana election instead of beating around the bush to draw a conclusion.

  4. Has a born Guyanese I find it rather convenient for all these outsiders to advise Guyana on how things should transpire. Last time I checked Guyanese can handle their own business we are independent and educated hold all outside opinions Guyanese have suffered enough. Put respect on the people of Guyana decision. MY opinion no fraudster should ever contest and elections in Guyana everyone knows the PPP is full of criminals and frauds.

  5. HAM Beck was a typical “educated” coon, following the white supremist manifesto of the colonial “education”. I find it Hillarious how hillary beckles boasts of HAM Beck marrying a NATIVE guyanese descendent as some sort of ‘progressive’ move.As is he typical, he skipped over african women like himself to get with a straight haired woman, because of SELF LOATHING! Frantz Fanon, of the same era, wrote about people like HAM Beck in “Black Skin, White Masks”. Imagine Hillary beckles boasting about HAM Beck’s interest in “Hindu” culture and indian civilization as if that is something to be proud of…anImmersing african descendent of enslaved peoples, marrying and immersing himself exclusively AWAY FROM his people. The seed of coons…!

    Also,Why is Hillary Beckles trying to equate african enslavement in the americas and the caribbean, with MIGRANT WORKERS FROM INDIA.Indentureship in the caribbean, was VOLUNTARY,PAID, CONTRACTED LABOUR!! Irish, Portugese and Chinese were also indentured as well!They were never enslaved! It is dishonest and disrespectful, to equate the legally 3/5 human african, with indians being “deceived” ! “Red flags” went up when this man crow-barred indians’ indentureship in the african reparations movement!

  6. It pains me to read the comments as it must be difficult for the writers to justify the unjust and to lay bare the shallowness of thoughts

  7. Tulsie I understand how you feel,none of us knows all the ramblins of your country and the powers in the political arena .But hey you guys are a mess,we can all see this.You can water it down but you cant ignore it.

  8. Just a reminder to refresh all readers ,elections took place four months a go,Guyana hasent had a parliament functioning for more than a year today.Haleluya you guys believe you doing fine some god bless you not mine.My god will morally condemn you.

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