by David Hinds
President Ramotar in his remarks at the commissioning of the new Tipperary Hall in my home-village, Buxton, declared that the PPP and Buxtonions are inseparable. The president’s remarks are inaccurate and misleading. According to the press reports, he made reference to the relationship between Buxton and the PPP in the period before the split of the party and the movement in 1955. But he made no distinction between the pre 1955 PPP and the post 1955 PPP, a common practice of PPP leaders.
The President was speaking to mainly schoolchildren and some young people who for various reasons are not familiar with Guyana’s political history. His sweeping statement, without any attempt at qualification, is unfair to these young people and somewhat insensitive to Buxtonions. As a Buxtonion I am insulted. Here is the President standing before people and revising their history in front of their faces. Where does it end?
The truth is that Buxton, like the vast majority of the African Guyanese community, for good or ill, was never part of the post 1955 PPP. The PPP after 1955 is a different party from the one to before 1955. The pre-1955 PPP was a multi-ethnic coalition in terms of its leadership, membership and mass support. Buxton was part of that coalition. The post 1955 PPP retained the name and most of the East Indian leadership and membership. It in effect has been an Indian Guyanese coalition in terms of leadership, membership and mass support. Buxton was not part of that coalition.
It is time we stop confusing people, especially the youth. The political descendants of Burnham, Kwayana, Martin Carter and others have as much claim to the legacy of the pre-1955 PPP as the political descendants of the Jagans. The marginalization of others from that legacy and the appropriation of it by the latter are obscene and should be discontinued. The President should take the lead.
David Hinds is a Political Activist and Commentator. He is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Caribbean and African Diaspora Studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. His writings can be found on his website guyanacaribbeanpolitics.com. You can also listen to Dr. Hinds on “Hindsight” on Mark Benschop Online Radio every Thursday night 8-9 pm at guyanaobservernews.org