OPINION: Those who seek to silence can and will never succeed

Last Updated on Friday, 8 September 2023, 7:02 by Denis Chabrol

by GHK Lall

A youngster was prompted by someone he felt he had to please to attack my servanthood and, worse still, my integrity.  Because he had to please at all costs, it was felt that any means would suffice, and the lower the better.  He did go low: splicing and cherry-picking, and exaggerating and distorting.  The lengths that is gone to, and for what?  To still one voice for the voiceless?  To destroy the dissenting?  One speaker and citizen compelling so much anxiety?  What is there to worry about, if everything is on an even keel?

The opening sentence was a giveaway: ‘GHK Lall attacks the PPP Government and the Vice President daily….  I do not read his essays, but I am writing this essay of my own.’  I write dozens of articles monthly for five publications in this country.  So, if this bright young man does not read what I write, how does he know that I attack the PPP Government and Dr. Jagdeo?  It is likely that this bright young man is brighter than even he knows, or I can begin to fathom.  Regarding attacks on the PPP Government and the Vice President, I am doing what few (very few) citizens in this country are doing.  I am telling them straight up that this is how things are, and as seen by many (including PPP supporters), who are afraid of calling things as they are.  I tell them what they know is right, but hate to hear.  I am saying what should not be, and what should.  I do so, though there is nothing to gain, other than the calumnies of what was written in the media in an attempt to denigrate my years at the Gold Board.

If President Ali and Vice President Jagdeo (a former president) are half the men I think they are, they would welcome this lone voice, which tells them what nobody else tells them.  This is the first duty of a citizen in a functioning democracy.  It is not to be a sycophant, a flunky, or a yes-man.  I suggest to the members of the team that wrote that letter to the media to re-educate themselves on the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and the attendant duties that are sacred.  One is to help my government, my leaders (including the opposition) not so much on the errors and weaknesses of their ways, but on the pathways if adopted that make for a better country, a better polity, and a better people.  Imagine if there were a hundred trying as tirelessly in this country, what kind of government, what kind of country, it just may be possible for us to have.  With even fifty or two score, I would not be so by myself here.  But I journey on, for this is the lot I have chosen, and I must see it through to the end.

I am glad beyond words that the writers of the media blast focused on my integrity and how I prize it.  I treasure it even more now that it has been put under the spotlight, but with the worst intentions.  I have a little recommendation to these sons (possibly daughters) of mine: they can take what they wrote about integrity, frame it, and then write my name at the very top of it.  And then at the beginning of each day when shaving let it be a reminder of the standard to be followed.  It is of more than what is about integrity, it is also of what is manly.  It would be another unknown contribution I quietly make to this country.  No noise.  No frills.  No self-promotion and no self-congratulation.

Now let’s talk about numbers and percentages and comparisons.  Man, it is so easy to look at what are end products, and which tell absolutely nothing about all that went in to get there.  The efforts.  The peoples.  The skills and the challenges.  Oh, and one more thing: it was all on the house, as in free gifts to the Guyanese people.  Oh, if the people of this country knew, only knew, about how much was given elsewhere, and how nothing was taken back from anyone, looked for, accepted, then what would be told to me then?  What could be?  Here is what would be my reward: If only the man with whom there is difficulty is looked upon differently, as in positively and more receptively, then that is the best payment I could actually receive.

Whatever the underpinnings of such monumental efforts by the government, through its agents, to tear down one man, I offer this little nugget.  I am not the enemy, not even an adversary.  I will now table what I intend to breathe life into at every opportunity, so help me, God.  This is a country in a new era, with a new economy, and one that should be stirred by new visions.  We, therefore, must cultivate a new mentality.  Not one where its best attribute is swiveling our necks to look backwards at the 1960s and Burnham.  Or sideways at 2020 and its horrors, when the world is before us, and the best progress is made in fiercely focusing on what’s ahead, with each step we take.

I want to extend a helping hand to the people of Guyana, including those who just endeavored mightily to drown me.  I am bigger and better than that, so it’s not feasible.  So, too, I am inclined to believe are those who come after me.  It includes who sent them to do so.  Le this one thing be remembered by all, from President Ali to VP Jagdeo to Opposition Leader Norton: I am a servant.  I am not subversive.  I am a son of this soil, and I will be damned if I allow anyone (anyone) to rub my nose into it, separate me from it.