Your Eyewitness knows that Guyana is sinking in a vortex of obscenities. This ranges from the macro-obscenity of a Sanctimonious Gangster and his myrmidons attempting to steal an election literally in front of the entire world, to the daily micro-obscenities of interpersonal violence. When is there a day that some woman or girl isn’t chopped or brutalised in one way or another? One fella wrote such an outrageous letter to the press that you’d think there aren’t any good men in Guyana. He misses the point. Sure, there are good men here — your Eyewitness is one, isn’t he? — but we gotta go by the dominant tendency.
But this latest obscenity of a group of eleven drunken louts battering a Pandit to death takes the cake. All the man did was remonstrate with them about drinking and shouting obscenities from sundown to 2am in the morning IN FRONT OF HIS HOUSE!! They knew who the man was and what he stood for – a man of God, who tried to live a moral life. The low-life mob had been doing this for a long time, and had been asked repeatedly not to destroy the family’s peace. All to no avail – all they got were more curses and threats as to what they’d do to the man’s daughter.
But more to the point, the Pandit and his family had called the Police Station in next-door Skeldon several times in the past – and on the night in question. With the same response that Guyanese across the land get when they make noise-nuisance complaints – which is an offence! – NO ACTION!!! And in this case a man was murdered. And your Eyewitness doesn’t want to hear about any “manslaughter” charge; this was premeditated murder, since they’d threatened to do this several times previously.
Okay, the Police have to get their act together. But really, is anything gonna change when they’ve lost the plot in so many other areas of national life that they’re supposed to protect?? So, what it comes down to is we gotta deal with the source of the problem – which is “rum drinking”. And this isn’t as innocuous as it might sound to outsiders, since it’s our name for “alcoholism”. With us, as the Chutney Singer belted out, even though “Rum kill me muddah and rum kill me fadder”, it’s still “Rum till I die!!”
The sickness is mainly in the Indian-Guyanese community, and especially the Hindu-Guyanese community. And their leaders have to do something about it. It’s no excuse to say that alcohol was introduced during Indentureship by the sugar barons as a means of social control. So what?
Whatcha gonna do about it now??
There are some groups who might say that “rum drinking” isn’t their problem. But they should realise that, in any country, the citizens are like fishes swimming in a pond – or a lake, is you will. And if the water is poisoned by some of the fishes, eventually all will die – or at least get sick. So rum drinking must be tackled nationally.
First of all, why aren’t there more sensitisation programmes about alcoholism being a DISEASE being done by the Ministry of Health?!! Secondly, the GRA can be directed to enforce the laws of the land, to ensure that rum shops can’t pop up all over the place like jumbie umbrellas. They must be regulated, and the Government has the tool – the licences they operate under. Then the Public Health system must have alcoholism detox programmes, followed up by AA or similar programmes to rehabilitate alcoholics.
The Hindu religious organisations must move beyond song-and-dance in their relationship with their constituencies.
They have to address social problems like alcoholism, suicide and domestic violence.
To paraphrase Brother Bob, here’s some advice to “rum suckers”: And what is to be must be/Every day the bucket goes to the well – But one day the bottom will drop out.