By Dr Leslie Ramsammy
Floccinaucinihilipilification – long word, indeed, but it is a real word. Just check the dictionary. Admittedly, this word is rarely used and it is almost unpronounceable. Yet it is the most appropriate word in describing something absolutely without any value. Moses Nagamootoo’s tenure as Prime Minister of Guyana in the last three and a half years is the very epitome of floccinaucinihilipilification, as is the globetrotting by him, the President and the Cabinet. Guyana gets nothing from spending more than a billion dollars annually from a globetrotting charade from APNU+AFC officials.
Take the PM’s attendance at a Tamil convention in India this week. As a proud Guyanese Madrassi, I wish the participants the best and hope that the convention is successful. Like the vast majority of my Madrassi sisters and brothers in Guyana, we hardly believe that the attendance of Prime Minister Nagamootoo at this convention represents any of us. It would have been nice for the Guyanese Government to support the attendance of one or more of our active Madrassi leaders. Prime Minister Nagamootoo is not a leader of the Madrassi community in Guyana. He never once considered inviting one of the Madrassi leaders, those men and women across Guyana who, today, against mighty odds, are valiantly keeping our culture alive.
Moses Nagamootoo’s visit to India this week to attend the Tamil convention, is just another stop on his vulgar globetrotting. This man who proudly reminds us as often as possible that he is a Christian, conveniently proclaims his Madrassi heritage, when it suits him. Once the conference became known to him, he suddenly reminds everyone that he is a very proud Madrassi. This is very different than the time four years ago when he belligerently denounced his Indian heritage, with David Granger watching him intently in New York. Who is paying for this trip to India? Even if someone else is paying for this trip, is this trip costing the taxpayers any money? Inquiring minds want to know.
What value does this trip have for Guyana? What value does this trip have for the Madrassi/Tamil Guyanese? How many times since he has been Prime Minister did he visit the Madrassi temples and celebrated his culture with fellow Madrassi in Guyana, other than when he was invited for some personal recognition?
In jetting away to India, he leaves behind more than 7,000 sugar workers who have lost their jobs, directly impoverishing the lives of more than 30,000 people, and indirectly, risking the livelihood of tens of thousands more people who depend on sugar workers as customers for their businesses. Many of these sugar workers and their families are practicing Madrassi. I know. I have met them. I have sat in their homes, as they worry about their future and the future of their children. Many of them are my relatives. They feel betrayed, because the man who once claimed to be their champion and the man who during the 2015 elections loudly proclaimed his Madrassi heritage was a leading proponent to close sugar estates and ripped their jobs away from them.
Since the closure started two years ago and since the first workers lost their jobs, Nagamootoo has not visited the sugar workers once, even those he claimed he has a cultural and religious link with. He has passed them on the road, not even acknowledging them, while he drives past in his fancy vehicles, his multitude of security officers and his convoy. He has not once tried to meet with these workers. These are the same workers he once claimed he represented and deemed himself the “champion” of sugar workers. As he busy himself in India, has he once represented those workers who have lost their jobs and who have not yet received their severance? Which trip would have been of worth – the trip to India or a trip to the sugar estates?
But he is not in the estates, not with the sugar workers, not today, not yesterday, not any day in the last couple of years. Still he is proudly in India at the Tamil Convention. Far from representing his Guyanese Madrassi brothers and sisters, asking the convention to highlight the injustice done to many of our Madrassi sisters and brothers, among thousands of others, he is there merely “pompositing”.
He is in India at a time his party, the AFC, which is having a hard time preparing for local government elections, really need him. They promised that they would contest at least 50 Local Authority Areas (LAAs). They managed to put together a list of candidates for only 38 of those LAAs, less than 50%. Even in the 38 LAAs, they are not competing in all the districts. Even with those partial representation in 38 LAAs, they only managed by presenting backers list that is shrouded in controversy. Some of these backers lists are being disputed as many persons have claimed that their names on the backers list represent fraud. A Judge has now instructed police to investigate the fraud. As the campaign heats up and as election is less than a month away, the AFC surely needs all hands on deck. But one of their leaders, the one who is Prime Minister, is “pompositing” many thousands of miles away. Those poor AFC members campaigning in the LAAs are asking what would be more worthy – joining them in the villages in the AFC LGE campaign or attending a convention in India?
The globetrotting by the PM and his Cabinet colleagues thus far has been valueless. For him to think that he represents the Madrassi Community at this Convention in India is only the lies of an unprincipled troglodyte. Spending time is the sugar estates is worth much more than his trip to India. Globetrotting is the floccinaucinihilipilification that the APNU+AFC parades as CHANGE.