This Issue | Editorial | E-mail
The specter and culture of Jagdeoism


Guyana Journal, February 2012

Three months into a new presidency, the specter and culture of Jagdeoism still looms large over the land. Jagdeoism is another form of Burnhamism. It is as if Jagdeo is the incarnate of Burnham.

Both Burnham and Jagdeo, as young rising stars, were catapulted into office by the powers that be. Both extended their stay in office by constitutional manipulation. Both, endowed with a narcissism and super-ego, lapsed into a Machiavellian dictatorship after their first term in office. Both closely associated themselves with flamboyant characters allegedly of ill repute – Jim Jones, Rabbi Washington, Roger Khan, Ed Ahmad, etc. Both got married in office, and both rode rough shod over the population, beginning with their (first) wives, and transferring their domestic bile, as it seems, onto the general population. Both mastered the art of international begging, and taking full unaccountable control of the collection plate. Both departed office stinking rich, accumulating their wealth by less that favorable means. Both became international superstars while their country rotted in garbage, corruption, poverty and immorality. Both Leninized themselves by splashing huge posters of themselves all over the landscape. Both were disciples of Jagan, then mutated into a malignancy of corruption. During the watch of both men, many mass murders were committed - Jonestown, Lusignan, Agricola, Bartica and Lindo Creek. While Burnham encouraged the kick down the door bandits, and his policies led to mass trafficking (of banned consumer goods), Jagdeo's policies gave free rein to drug trafficking and money laundering. The behavior of both men, especially of Jagdeo's public vulgarity (such as dirty dancing) and his boorishness in publicly “cussing out” people, brought shame and disgrace to their respective religions and to all decent-minded folks in general. Jagdeo, through his personal example and behavior, made the incidence of domestic violence – spousal abuse and spousal homicides, child rapes, child abuse and child murders to show marked escalation during his presidency.

Fine legacy of a man who retires on three million of Guyanese tax dollars a month. (While I, who also served Guyana for over twelve years, and upon retiring, only qualified for a one time lump sum payment of two thousand dollars – barely enough to buy myself, and the guy assisting me, a box of Chinese fried each. Explain that, Dr. Corruption!)

There are definitely many other outrageous similarities between Burnham and Jagdeo which I do not intend to further amplify here.

For, coming to the gist of my letter, both of these men were very similar in the way they vindictively and ruthlessly sought to wipe out their critics (there are too many to mention) in the communication media. And it is very sad that the new president, a staunch admirer of Jagdeo, should be following in his footsteps.

Mr. Editor, the very essence of democracy is freedom of expression, and criticism is an essential and dialectic element of democracy. It was the French philosopher, Voltaire, who said, “I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to my death your right to say it.” This is what democracy is all about.

Besides, when you deprive someone from his right to express himself, you also deprive me from my right to hear and evaluate that expression. You also usurp the functions of the editor to edit, and the court to pronounce on the liability of that expression.

Mr. Editor, the Guyanese people and the world at large must be fools to believe the PPPC that Mr. Frederick Kissoon is being fired because of his age and lack of scholarly publications. True, his journalism leaves much to be desired, but Kissoon the journalist must be evaluated differently from Kissoon the lecturer.

More importantly, are the criteria used to evaluate Kissoon the lecturer used across the board to evaluate all lecturers? Is there an appearance of discrimination and/or political interference in this case? Are there any other incidents to show that Kissoon and his family are being discriminated against?

I would therefore like to call on UG Chancellor, Professor Compton Bourne, to set up an independent committee to examine if there was indeed a political motive behind Kissoon's termination, to re-consider his case strictly under the specific terms of his employment, and to make the necessary recommendation as it sees fit to the UG Council.

Editor's Note: This letter also appeared in the Kaieteur News.

Gokarran Sukhdeo, BS (Econs), MA (Soc. Psych)
He has written on social, political and international issues.
He is also the author of The Silver Lining which won the Guyana Prize for Literature, 1998.