EYEWITNESS: Whatever happened to…

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…that Indian Arrival Monument?

You do remember there was a Monument commemorating the Arrival of Indians to Guyana that was supposed to’ve been erected in Berbice, don’t you? Yep!! The same one whose base ignominiously collapsed in April at the exotically-named village of Palmyra in Berbice. From the pics in the papers, the ruins were quite reminiscent of that ancient monument of which Shelly wrote about in Ozymandias:

“Nothing beside remains. Round the decay/ Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare/ The lone and level sands stretch far away.” In the case of the Indian monument’s base, having been sited in a cleared cane field, there are waving stalks of sugar cane that “stretch far away”!  There was a note in the press a couple of weeks ago, to inform those interested, that the Government of India, via its local High Commission, was going to “take over” the construction of the base.

But your Eyewitness has a few questions as he looks back — not in anger, but bemusement — at the saga of the Indian monument. Monuments like these aren’t just pieces of metal or wood or stone; they’re the embodiment of the history of peoples! And you shouldn’t fool around with them. Remember what happened to the Monument to the 1823 Slave Revolt constructed during the PPP regime?? The base alone cost the Govt $26 million! God knows how much the bronze monument itself cost!! The APNU/AFC Administration, aware of the sentiments aroused, have promised to construct another 1823 Monument at Parade Ground. Good for them, because Africans weren’t pleased with the location!!

Early in the decade, your Eyewitness does remember the then PPP Administration accepting from two local artists/sculptors a concept model on the Indian Monument. This was sculpted and cast in a 12’ x 12” x 12 bronze tableaux in India at a cost of $30 million — paid for by the Government of India.

It was shipped back to Guyana early in 2016, and was supposed to be placed on the site by March 2017, in time for the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Indians to Guyana. The first question, of course, is why was the project started only just weeks before the projected date?? Are we ever going to have an answer? Then the clearing of the one-acre land and “roadway” cost $43 million, even though the cane field is right next to the Berbice Highway! Why?

Finally, of course, there’s the $26 million of another $43 million paid to the sole-sourced Linden fly-by-night contractor to build the base that collapsed! Answers anyone?
But have we no shame? Why should we beg India to build the base, after they had built the monument? Are we that incompetent?

…the AFC?

The Americans have a saying, “it ain’t over till it’s over!” But for the AFC at the end of 2017, your Eyewitness has to say, “It’s over baby!! Kaput! Sayonara!! Ta Ta!!” The avant garde artist Andy Warhol did say that everybody has their 15 minutes of fame…and then they’re yesterday’s news!!  The AFC’s 15 minutes started in 2006 when they were put together and backed by Big Brother.

There were no explicit announcements, of course, but the fact that big time US pollster Dick Morris would condescend to conduct a poll in Guyana spoke volumes. That the poll “showed” the AFC was the best thing since sliced bread did wonders for the party’s fortunes. Led by Raphael Trotman, they bit off a big chunk of the PNC’s votes — those who were disillusioned by Corbin’s leadership! They reached their peak when, influenced by Nagamootoo, they carved out enough PPP votes to tip APNU over the finish line.

Then, of course, they crashed and burned when they allowed APNU to walk all over them!
Like they say, “Good riddance….!”

…Andy Warhol

You don’t know who was Andy Warhol? He’s the fella famous for painting labels of Campbell soup – one which sold for US$11.7 million!!!

And, that’s the point, isn’t it? 15 minutes are all you get!!

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