Charrandas Persaud: The Gandhi of Guyana

Dr.Mahabir

Submitted by Dr Kumar Mahabir

Love him or hate him, Guyanese Member of Parliament (MP) Charrandas Persaud had the courage to stand and swim against the political rip currents of the Essequibo River.

And for that extraordinary courage based on a conscience vote, he must be honoured, even idolised as the Mahatma Gandhi of Guyana. Already there are plans to name babies after him as well as streets in his native Berbice. A meme with his portrait on a champagne bottle has been created, and a song on the theme “Charrandas is a Hero”, produced by Rishaad Ishmael, is being shared on social media.

On that historic day in Guyana (December 21, 2018), Charrandas voted against his own governing party for the opposition People’s Progress Party (PPP) led by Bharrat Jagdeo. MPs Jaipaul Sharma, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine and Sydney Allicock did not have that strength of character to take that leap. Charrandas’ one dissident vote changed the course of electoral history in Guyana by constitutionally toppled a government from power which is still stubbornly and illegally refusing to resign.

Charrandas’s single vote made history in Guyana and the Commonwealth Caribbean, except for the Turks and Caicos Islands. On his Facebook page, Trinidadian political scientist Dr Kirk Meighoo stated: “It has NEVER happened before.” (23/12/18). He added that the no-confidence-motion victory demonstrates strength in political democracies like Guyana. “For parliaments to work, our parliamentarians need to represent their constituencies, and not their party or race.” [A theory negating Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo’s belief (Kaieteur News 5/1/19)].

Meighoo went on to write that no one can accuse Charrandas of being racially motivated by voting for an Indian-dominated party. On every occasion for the past three years, Charrandas voted for the African-dominated party in Parliament, against his own conscience. Indeed, Charrandas worked at every level to electorally overthrow the ruling PPP from power and install an African-dominated coalition in government in 2015.

Charrandas risked his life for conscience

Charrandas knew that he could have been dead at the hands of hoodlums supporting the ruling People’s National Congress (PNC)-led coalition government headed by a retired brigadier, President David Granger. The PNC has a long bloody history of harassment, imprisonment, torture, violence and murder of political opponents.

Political opponents of the PNC such as Ohene Koama, Edward Dublin and Dr. Walter Rodney of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) were all fatalities. Paradoxically, WPA members Dr. David Hinds, Dr. Roopnaraine and Tacuma Ogunseye have joined the current PNC-led coalition.

As an Indo-Guyanese, Charrandas and his family were more of a risk of being physically attacked than other citizens. In the publication entitled In Transit: Gangs and Criminal Networks in Guyana (2012), human security researchers Taylor Owen and Alexandre Grisby wrote that “the fact that the Guyanese police are largely Afro-Guyanese added to the Indo-Guyanese distrust of the security forces and reinforced ethnic tensions” (page 18).

This independent research project produced in Geneva should be instructive to Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan. He as well as the families of other members of the coalition government such as Moses Nagamootoo, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, Jaipaul Sharma and Hemraj Rajkumar are still not safer.

Charrandas you gun dead tonight.”

Charrandas said he has spent sleepless nights before me made his conscience vote. He spoke repeatedly about imminent death to reporters, saying: “My life may go, but you know what … I will die a happy person with a clear, God-damn conscience.”

He said Public Health Minister “Volda Lawrence was sitting in the cafeteria and said whoever crosses the floor, she will kill the person; throw them over the rail.” In the full glare of media cameras, Charrandas was being abused verbally and/or physically by Derek Basdeo and Government MP, Jermaine Figueira, who was seen “hitting me…and cussing me.” Government MP Jennifer Wade shouted: “Charrandas, you gun dead tonight” (St. Lucia Times 1/1/19).

In expectation of his likely murder, Charrandas had written a farewell letter to his son “encouraging him to be a good father.” In the event that “something happens to him, Persaud said he [had] written a letter detailing the reason for his action for which he has asked his secretary to make public” (Guyana Chronicle 22/12/18).

Charrandas said: “I knew that my life was in terrible danger… So I sought help [to leave Parliament building and the airport the next day]. I could not trust Khemraj Ramjattan and his police …” (Kaieteur News 3/1/19).

As expected, the illegal PNC-led coalition government is out to get Charrandas by any means. Ramjattan and his co-conspirators are alleging that Charrandas is a Judas who was bribed to defect, has dual-citizenship, is a gambler (both only now “discovered”), breached airport security protocol, fled to Canada instead of Barbados, etc., etc. Whether found guilty or not, these dirt-digging and mudslinging tactics cannot stain the purity of character of Charrandas Persaud.

33 comments

  • He voted for kith and kin

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  • Hello! I haven’t really been following Politics in Guyana very much .MoreI importantly never knew of Charramdas Persaud until December 21st. I watched his interview on YouTube and can clearly state that he is the best speaker of the Government. The Ministers can even speak. It is such an embarrassment to Guyana to listen to some of these people. Their behavior and attitude in Parliament is a whole other issue. Thank You Sir for taking a stand for the people of Giyana.

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  • thats all me need , a bunch of people named lexicon running around

    Liked by 1 person

  • And took a bribe as an MP…to which he admitted on facebook..

    ….if he is a Canadian citizen, is he the one ran off to Canada???…the Canadians might have something to say about their citizens taking bribes or bribing government ministers in the Caribbean or anywhere else……new laws…

    “fled to Canada instead of Barbados, etc.”

    why do all the criminals want to flee to Barbados…which is obviously now a criminal magnet because of their fellow criminals in the parliament and bar association…not a good look at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  • water finds its own level

    Liked by 1 person

  • Apparently..he is a criminal of Canada and Guyana…and the author of this article is pondering him fleeing to Barbados…like Barbados don’t have enough problems with bribery corruption..with their own MPs…

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  • Gandhi was no mahatma. And Persaud is no hero either.

    Persaud is a traitor to his country and should pay the ultimate price.

    And Martin Luther King was also misguided to follow this so-called Ghandian tradition when African peoples produced Seti 1, the originator of peacemaking on earth. Not the man, reportedly from Palestine, who never existed.

    These are the kinds of false readings of reality derived when academicians like Mahabir and minions like WILLIAM SKINNER lionize idiots based on the misleading marketing of the West. When they erroneously seek to build kingdoms in the sky to support false narratives. When their worldviews are clouded by pettiness.

    The critical histories clearly show that Gandhi, while in South Africa, supported the Apartheid regime and sought a special dispensation for people of his hue.

    Mohandas Gandhi is accurately described as a Hindu nationalist.

    A careful look at his life shows that he never once had any critique of Hinduism, as a dirty religion. A religion totally based on Apartheid. Up to this day in India the demonic caste system of Hinduism bedevils hundreds of millions of the original ‘Indians’, who migrated there tens of thousands of years before the fiction of India was created.

    Hear one of our favourite writers – Arundhati Roy.

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  • When will Caribbean people of African descent wake up…don’t mind ya BRAIN DEAD LEADERS..they are WORTHLESS…..ya do not need them to WAKE UP….they WILL keep you ASLEEP..to FILL their own pockets..

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  • WAKE THE HELL UP…African Caribbeans..

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  • Only in Guyana.A bunch of ignorant hyndoos led by a power crazed communist fool.They should all be repatriated to the sub continent.Persaud,being hindyan, was for sale.Nothing to do with courage.Mia should have the courage to declare them persons non greater in Bim.

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  • Jagdeo definitely needs to be removed from the Caribbean…he will cause so much corruption and STRIFE…there will be no choice…..BECAUSE IT WILL IN TURN CAUSE MASSIVE PROBLEMS FOR THOSE WHO CONSIDER THE CARIBBEAN their backyard and who have the power to rid the area of that blighted hooligan..

    RACISM and SEGREGATION…needs to be FULLY OUTLAWED in vulnerable societies like Barbados and Guyana..outlawed to the point where minorities in Barbados…should be JAILED FORTHWITH for continuing the practice…

    ……or in Guyana’s case, Hindi and muslim who practice these crimes with such glee…should be incarcerated for decades long stretches…a message must be sent..

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  • Pachamama,

    So that means the title statement is correct. Persaud IS actually “The Gandhi. of Guyana.”

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  • Donna

    Well yes, if we have a right knowledge of history.

    But Donna, everything around us is constructed based entirely on lies, everything!

    But the Hindu nationalists, who operate under the egis of Caribbean nationhood, like Mahabir and Persaud, were never interested in truth, justice and peace. They are like the Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, the racist Indian PM.

    As such, they influence minions like William SKINNER into a faux Caribbean nationalism. A nationalism which has no meaning but to cover foolishness.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Some question why allow an Indian to share a perspective on BU platform. Is this not the best way to enlighten?

    Liked by 1 person

  • David

    Pachamama does not question that at all.

    What we question are the lies these people can present. Lies that receive a welcome far afield. Lies that are the dominant narratives. As told by a miseducated Hindu nationalist masquerading as a person of knowledge.

    Do you think Ms Ram treats Bajans the way she does by accident? But these are the kinds of people we invite to the Caribbean to live like demigods.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Pacha
    You can add to the list of racist hindoos the loquacious and belligerent Sat Mabaraj the racist of Trinidad whose notoriety descended to objecting to a black woman teaching at a Hindu school in Trinidad.We have to watch that Muslim school on Passage Road like a hawk.Not ’bout hay so.At the same time the hindoos busy and quietly changing the architecture of Belleville.

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  • Through exchanges like this one for example go along way to shine light.

    Where abnormal behaviour rears let us expose it.

    >

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Pachamama

    It is wiser to walk circumspectly. We may trust ;but we need to verify. There are always red flags that surface to warn of danger ahead. We should never ignore them. As David Bu is wont to say:” sometimes it pays to play Blogger Idiot”.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hants at11:12 AM

    Just another perspective on a contrived attempt to separate Homo Sapiens. Should we not celebrate our physical and cultural differences without disrespecting each other?

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  • Most certainly we should. Bot it requires the rule being followed by ALL parties.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    Oh no!

    Those strategies have gotten us no where. And not when Hindu nationalism is on the rise. Not when Black people walking bout serving other peoples and their gods.

    Should we spend our time navigating trite our Ancestors and their Divine Gods will never be known, never take their rightful place in our worlds.

    It’s time for a frontal war. Yours is a White man’s game.

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  • I think Vincent was stating an ideal. I am sure he is aware that serious remedial action must be undertaken before we can ever reach it.

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  • Vincent..have you ever lived among Hindi or Muslim Indians in Guyana or Trinidad…to observe how, especially the extremists in both groups, were socialized to REACT to African defended people…mind you not all practice either Hindi or muslim religions but the socialization is STILL very instructive……including the cursed caste system from the south East Asian subcontinent that they think is so SPECIAL..,,and which they themselves are not even welcomed in India to practice…

    Then some from Guyana tried to reinforce their practiced blight of racism in Barbados….in the 00s when Arthur let them in….

    ….the practice of racism may seem normal to you..because you are used to seeing it practiced by the shite minorities in Barbados ..BUT IT IS NOT NATURAL……it is criminal and should be REMOVED PERMANENTLY FROM THE CARIBBEAN LANDSCAPE…which we repeatedly have to remind people…IS MAJORITY AFRICAN DESCENDANT IN POPULATION…by millions of people..

    neither Hindi nor muslim groups in Trinidad or Guyana have the numbers across the Caribbean to continue the evil racism practices…. left to them by the UK… ..both in India and the Caribbean…

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  • ..to REACT to African DESCENDED people…

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  • Pachamama,

    What are your thoughts on Shridath Ramphal?

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  • When ghandi bathed with a naked woman he didnt know it because he kept his eyes shut, fat chance of any bajan being like ghandi.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Pachamama

    It is a human game.
    I am prepared to allow fellow human beings to limp through life on the social and religious crutches that get them through life. I demand and expect them to do the same for me. I do not think I need to make excuses for who I am. I am who I am.

    @ WARU

    Having been born ,lived and schooled in St. John Barbados, Jamaica and UK. I have lived among the referenced”races”. I experienced what you are talking about first hand. I do not have to be a racist because it seems natural to be one.

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  • “I do not have to be a racist because it seems natural to be one.”

    Neither should YOU or ANYONE be EXPOSED or SUBJECTED to the nasty behaviours of backward RACISTS…in ANY PART. of the Caribbean in 2019….whether the racists are tourists or locals…

    Useless, brain dead Caribbean governments have allowed that blighted CURSE…to go on for too long post independence….

    Like

  • David

    I have worked with Trinidadian and Guyanese Indian … dated Jamaican Indian, and of the three Guyanese Indian was by far the most racial of the group.

    And as far as Mahatma Gandhi is concerned: the 21 years he spent in South Africa before returning India was spent in regarded to the East Indian caused … Gandhi regarded the Black South African beneath him and even kicked up a stink when the East Indian was compared to the Black South African by the Whites…

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  • David

    East Indians are by far the most racial people in the Caribbean, but for some strange reason Jamaican Indians consider themselves Jamaicans first and the East Indians second …
    in essence Jamaican Indians, Chinese and Whites are very nationalistic … and they stay true to the Jamaican motto: Out of One Many People…

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    Lexicon at 6:06 PM

    The Jamaican assimilation is exemplary. I share your evaluation.
    I believe the race card has been used in the past and is still being used by populist movements as a political device to disrupt.

    Like

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