My identity is my own. I do not appreciate being branded politically because of my skin colour. Last time around, I stood at a rally screaming in favour of the AFC. Who knows where I’ll be next time around. Maybe no place close to any of the madness that happens here in Canecutopia. Because quite frankly, I’m tired of racist politics and I’m tired of believing in the shallow brand of change some people market.
It seems that the only way to get things done here in Canecutopia is to get up and make change happen yourself. While there are a few among us who soldier on against the odds, sadly, the majority of my brethren are spineless souls. Sad story. But true story. Very true story.
How is a young East Indian woman like myself seasoned politically? Well, (and I can only speak from my own experience) it seems that tradition dictates politics here in beautiful Guyana. You see, within my own cultural community I vividly remember adults trying to instill in me a deep respect for the PPP. Basically, what they teach us (and I’m sure other young East Indians, if they have the courage, can attest to this) is that PPP power means East Indian power and East Indian power is the only way we can survive.
What did all of this do to me psychologically? It created a deep rooted fear in my heart, in my being, in the deepest, most intimate part of my mind. You see, as I grew older, became acquainted with history and facts and learnt to question everything in the world around me, I saw politics for what it was in this place. It was inevitable that I would see the truth. And during the last elections, even though I had voted for my bit of change, I have to admit to feeling a stab of fear when the rumour of a PPP loss started circulating.
Yes, this is what my country, my people, my culture has done to me. It tries to make cowards of us all. Clearly, I have dealt with that fear. Had I not dealt with it, then I would not be writing this. And this brings us to the real reason behind my sudden urge to tackle this subject: am I calling the people and community and loved ones who were responsible for my socialization, am I Sara Bharrat, calling them racist?
Is my nani, who loves her best friend auntie Jocelyn more than she loves her sisters, racist? Is my mother, who cries every time a young black man is gunned down, is she racist? Is my uncle, who brings fruits and provisions from the farm for our next door neighbours, is he racist? Or are they all just victims of the race based machine of traditional grassroots politics that preys upon our psyche here in Canecutopia?
I know many East Indians who openly say that they are not racist. However, when they see the young man I love, their faces change, their voices lower and they ask me “he has black in him?” These same East Indians claim to want change. They claim they have escaped the trap of race based voting. And yet, here they are, clearly being racist beneath a carefully crafted facade.
So where does it end? How does it end? I can’t answer that for anyone just yet. But I can tell you this, racism ends with me and the death of this race based machine of traditional grassroots politics and voting begins with me. I have shed my mask, I have exposed myself to the elements that be and I am ready to fight for truth and real change. But not just to fight but to work too, to come up with solutions to problems, to help with implementing said solutions.
And finally, I hate when people address me as an Indo-Guyanese. I am simply a Guyanese. I do not need an ethnic tag before my nationality. It encourages the deep rooted and intricately disguised segregation that lives on here in Canecutopia. And please remember, being East Indian does not make me a child of the PPP or a government hater.
Like some of you already do, I will aid government initiatives once they are free of corruption and genuinely aim to help the people. But my decision to help does not mean I am government branded. I am just me, just Sara, a Guyanese, that’s all.
19 thoughts on “Being East Indian does not automatically make me PPP”
On the contrary, East Indian is synonymous with the PPP. The PPP pretty much thinks they own East Indians in Guyana and the actions (or lack of ) of East Indians to confront the ills of this society speak for itself. The PPP knows exactly how to indoctrinate, brainwash and condition their voting block / East Indians against the opposition aka black people or whatever.
The PPP’s tactic of the politics of fear has been tried and tested over and over again against their voting block. The PNC is the boogeyman under the bed of the East Indian in this country; all the PPP needs to do and what they have been doing all along is to invoke, stir up and stimulate emotions of fear within the psyche of the East Indian and they pull into their shell like a scared turtle. These tactics are played out at Babu John, in those bottom house meetings and other political / social gathering. The PPP especially target the poor and uneducated East Indian to brainwash since they are more susceptible to accept their propaganda.
East Indians in Guyana are trapped in a political Matrix created and managed by guess WHO??, where all they see and know is PPP. To think outside that box can cause headache. Those racist bottom house meetings that are conducted by those PPP people where all the brainwashing takes place, is a key element in keeping the robotic East Indian mind in check.
Many East Indians lack critical thinking skills and logic to discern and recognize what is wrong from right when it comes to Politics in Guyana, either that or they choose to ignore reality. Their own gov’t is riddled with corruption and nepotism and all you get is a few Indian brothers/sisters speaking out, all the rest of them are silent. May be it is “a we time now” , “apaan jat” thing so the PPP Gov’t could do no wrong in the eyes of the East Indian. It is amazing and sad and disheartening at the same time.
Look at the number of issues that are facing this country and the PPP continues to blame the opposition for the problems as if the opposition is running the country. Even a nursery child can discern such deceitful tactic by this gov’t.
Look at the number of corrupt activities that is being exposed by the media but guess what the brainwashed PPP supporters are saying: “Glen Lall used to traffic this person and that person and he had contact with the criminals and so on….” So much for rationality, critical thinking and logic. These people have none! They have become ROBOTS and ZOMBIES fully controlled by the PPP, it is beyond sickening and pathetic. They will continue to vote race because of their robot mentality.
Sorry to say but the East Indian mind is so damn racist that they would even vote in a mouse to be President of Guyana once it is an East Indian mouse.
This rant is generalized, who the cap fits wear it. Of course I am not talking about ALL East Indians for there will always be pockets of exception.
Yes, and hopefully in those little pockets of exception there is hope for a revolution yet.
But is it powerful enough David to make some people stop and think?
The fact that you refer to our beloved country as canecutopia may be a more revelatory “statement” than you think.
Would you care to elaborate Mark?
Sorry about my seeming pique at the use of the term Sara but I’ve have always been a bit leery at the use of seemingly derogatory terms by which our country is sometimes referred (see Mudland), and you can credit my response to a crude act of reductionism. I agree with everything you say in principle but wonder if the unconscious mind may be expressing a greater truth… Hope I’m not being inordinately vague.
Always feel free to express yourself here. The term Canecutopia was originally coined by Ruel Johnson. Before the week is out I shall write a bit about the term, its origin, original use and my use.
Your article gives me a glimmer of hope for change in the land I love.
Canecutopia is an unusual name. It takes me back to our British colonial days when sugar cane was king. Life for workers, mostly East Indians, in the cane fields was no utopia.
Very moving. As a Black Guyanese who grew up with most of my friends being Indian, I can relate so easily and so well to what you are saying. I must commend you on your courage to speak out and the clarity of your voice. It takes ONE to create change.
Ms. Bharrat, thank you for your wonderfully worded piece and the clarity in which you express your thoughts. With young people like yourself willing to speak out against the odds, I am assured that there is yet hope for my country.
As small as this may seem, it is, by all means, revolutionary.
There is always hope, not to worry.
I agree with Fidel, “It takes ONE to create change.” I have enjoyed reading this post and I applaud you.
I, too have a problem with the ethnic tags that are so widely use. I am a Guyanese living in the USA, so here I am labeled African-American and none of these labels are correct. It is refreshing to read this piece coming from a young person, a young Guyanese. I do hope that other Guyanese youth read and understand what you have said here.
Keep your chin up Sara
The flip side is that East Indian ‘association’, percieved or not, to the PPP is linked to the ‘association’ of blacks towards to PNC!
Gee what a PIECE, I was believing you then I read you, young! now I have to take what you write with a pinch of salt — aaa I mean a handful of salt. Go girl you are dynamite. I soon will send you a bit of my experience while in Guyana. love you. Please send a recent picture
I applaud the courage in writing this piece. It is refreshing to read these perspectives from someone with ‘inside info’ on the other side of the divide. Keep doing what you are doing. I am confident that we will be rubbing shoulders when that change comes…and come it shall. Change is the only inevitable and we have taken a conscious decision to stand on the side of positive change.
Refreshing indeed. Good work.
At election time racism rears it’s ugly head. I am a child of Guyana because of my ethnic makeup and as such has an open independent view of these issues
I commend you Ms. Bharrat.
Commendable. It’s nice to see Guyanese voicing their feelings but something doesn’t feels right. I’m a sucker for being a skeptic but what’s wrong with this picture?