In an article published in another section of the press on October 3, 2021, under the caption, “PNC’S CONTEMPT FOR INDIANS”, the writer, one of my critics, was exploring the attitudes of certain public figures on issues of race and stereotypes. Of course, he appeared to be unaware of his own attitudes in these areas. I hope to examine some of his one-sided findings in another letter.
For me, a high point of his article was his reference to me as the person responsible for describing the PPP in the early sixties as a “coolie-rice government”. The quotes he used suggested to me that he had found an article or a speech by me using the words quoted. By habit, I first examined myself in a quick memory review to find whether in my long years of public activity I had ever sunk so low. I took the private decision that I would ask the author to make public the source of his discovery about my disrespect for people of a certain race. I also decided privately that if my critic could present the evidence, I would have to put myself on record with a public apology.
Before starting this letter, I engaged one of my helpers to use a search engine to find whether there was any report in cyber space of my use of the offensive words my critic claimed came from me. I was fairly certain that I had never written or uttered such words. In a few minutes, however, my friend informed me that his search was rewarded. He had found the source of my critic’s information. It was an article written in 2010 by the critic himself in which he had concluded in his own mind, without quotes, that I was one of the persons in the PNC responsible for describing the PPP as a “coolie-rice government”.
In short, on October 3, 2021, my critic, Mr. Ravi Dev, wrote pretending that he had found a source allowing him to claim that I conceived and used the phrase, “coolie-rice government”. He had indeed found a source, but the source was his own malicious invention, first published by him in the Kaiteur News, under the caption, “The contributions of Kwayana”. In my opinion, what my critic did is an example of abuse of power and, at the same time, a deliberate attempt to deceive his trusting readers.deliberate attempt to deceive his trusting readers.
I am not attempting to revise any opinion that I may have expressed about the PPP’s economic policies. I resent the practice of placing provocative and disrespectful words in the mouth of a person seen as an enemy.