Burnham and the PNC

first_imgThe PNC is commemorating its 60th anniversary. Exactly thirty years ago, as part of a paper, “On the Guyanese Dictatorship” I analysed its “Founder-Leader” LFS Burnham’s imperatives to launch the party after his three unsuccessful challenges to Jagan to become leader of the PPP and the defeat of his PPP faction in the 1957 elections. The same imperatives drive the present PNC, under Granger, who has vowed to fulfil Burnham’s “legacy”.“Burnham craved to be leader for three reasons: His undeniable personal ambitions; his realisation that Jagan and other “extreme” leftists had a very naïve apprehension of the geopolitical realities of the era; and he considered himself the representative of the African and Creole sections, who were increasingly seeing themselves in danger of being overwhelmed by Indians.The last reason stemmed from several factors. Firstly, even though the PPP thought it had addressed the racial cleavages by recruiting leaders from each racial/ethnic group, the dominance of the Indian top leadership, the aggressive entry of Indians into positions formerly dominated by Creoles, the economic development plans that veered towards agriculture, and the generally jingoistic response of this previously politically backward but numerically largest section, raised concerns in the other sections as to the implications of their “minority” status. While the PPP had defined itself as a “revolutionary” party, which would eliminate the “ruling class” and fuse the rest of society with the “working class”, the minority group began to perceive themselves as potentially permanently dependent on the beneficence of the “major group”. The PPP was being defined, both by its supporters and its detractors, as an exclusionary party with its constituency (Indians) and excluded group (Africans and Creoles) racially defined.Secondly, the discomfiture of the African and Creole sections was exacerbated by the implications of being dominated by a group with a completely different culture – one they had been taught to consider as “heathen” and “inferior”. The national ethos had defined Guyana as a “Creole” nation and the Creoles and Africans, as the guardians of this ethos, naturally presumed they were to be the inheritors of the nation on the departure of the British. It was unthinkable to permit power to fall into the hands of the group deemed ambivalent about their national allegiance because of their refusal to “assimilate”.Burnham, as a consequence, did not have much difficulty in legitimising his drive for power by articulating the fears of the African and Creole sections, when he launched the PNC and provided a vehicle to address those fears. In fact, Burnham was promised help by Manley and Bustamante of Jamaica, Adams of Barbados and Padmore of Trinidad if he formed a party to prevent Jagan from creating and “Indian State” in Guyana. The formation of the United Force (UF) in 1960, representing the White and near-white bloc, further increased the paranoia of the African and Creole sections.In a plural society where one section is over 50 per cent of the population, “democratic elections” are not very comforting to minority groups. It is simply a prescription for permanent exclusion from power and the perquisites thereof, which issue from the exclusionary politics practiced, once a group acquires power. There is no question that the fears of the minority groups can be, and have been, heightened by demagogic politicians like Burnham, but one can assert with as much certitude that the fears are rational and real, based on the experience of minorities the world over. Unless these fears are addressed, minority groups will continue to be receptive to mobilisation by ambitious politicians. Burnham then, received increasing support from Africans and Creoles as he strove for power because, to reiterate, they perceived their interests and his, as coincident.Burnham’s attempt to wrest control of the PPP between 1953 and 1955 resulted in a spilt of the nationalist movement. The ignominious defeat of his faction in the 1957 general elections persuaded him that he could not win over Indian support by merely utilising Jagan’s tactic of fielding prominent candidates from the “other” group. Jagan had pre-empted the field. Burnham’s fusion with the United Democratic Party (UDP) – the political offshoot of the League of Coloured People – in 1958 to create the PNC, was a natural development. It combined Burnham’s support among the lower class rural Africans with the strategic support of the urban-based Creole and African middle class.”Race has dominated Guyana’s voting since.last_img read more

Huge crowds pack downtown Toronto for Raptors parade

first_imgAngelie Sabanal gains lessons from early loss in Shanghai Olympic rings arrive in host city on barge into Tokyo Bay Solon urges Solgen to reconsider quo warranto petition vs ABS-CBN Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?01:08Huge Toronto crowd celebrates Raptors’ historic win00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 11 nabbed for shabu, drug den busted in Maguindanao Rio’s unsafe Olympic Park ordered closed by Brazilian judge Deandre Ayton shines as Suns pound Knicks Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard, left to right, smokes a cigar holding his playoffs MVP trophy as he celebrates with performing artist Drake and his mother Kim Robertson during the 2019 Toronto Raptors NBA basketball championship parade in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)TORONTO — Jubilant Raptors fans decked out in team gear are jamming downtown Toronto for a parade for the NBA champions.Crowds packed the route and the square outside City Hall where the march is to end in the afternoon. Fans, many skipping school and work, filled the streets and subways as early as 7 a.m.ADVERTISEMENT Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted View comments Taal evacuees make the most of ‘unusual’ clothing donations, leaves online users laughing Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to attend briefly. Mayor John Tory declared Monday “We The North Day” in Toronto, after the NBA champions’ slogan.Some 1.5 million are expected to be at the parade. The Raptors are traveling in open-air double-decker buses with the NBA championship trophy.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs LATEST STORIES Star guard Kyle Lowry, the team’s longest-serving member, said on Twitter: “Grandma I know you front row already!!”The last time the city held a sports celebration of this magnitude was after the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993. MOST READlast_img read more