The People’s National Congress Reform salutes the Hindu Community in Guyana and the region on the occasion of the important festival of Phagwah. This festival which in its secular significance points to the importance of spring and the idea of revival has an important symbolic significance for the current social conditions in contemporary Guyana.

The social reality in Guyana today is a source of considerable discomfort. In the political domain there is continuing evidence of arrogance, executive lawlessness, a studied attack on various institutions, including trade unions, and a lack of unity and purpose. Socially, Guyana presents a grim picture: an insidious drug culture has taken hold in the society, crime is rampant, our young people are afflicted with a sense of hopelessness, our old and vulnerable citizens need more state assistance, and the very foundations of the society seem to be eroding under the burden of anti-social values. Economically, the nation has entered uncharted waters. Mis-management of the economy and the inability of the Jagdeo Administration to respond in a timely fashion to the collapse of Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) in Trinidad have triggered a situation where pensions and savings held by CLICO (Guyana) and the NIS may be in Jeopardy.

It is at such moments that a nation must examine itself to determine what values it holds which can help to bring about a transformation in its fortunes. Among the values on which our nation rests is that of rebirth symbolized by the Festival of Phagwah. Guyana must change course if it is to avoid the fate of stagnation and perennial underdevelopment. We must look into ourselves and recognise that we must allow independent organizations to develop and flower, take firm measures to end the twin scourges of crime and drug trafficking, change our mode of governance, protect the poor, the vulnerable and the powerless, take action to put the economy right by adopting measures to combat the current financial and economic crisis, and, most of all, make a reality of unity. This is as good a time as any to reflect on this agenda of healing as we celebrate the important Hindu Festival of Phagwah.

Happy Phagwah!

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana
Monday, March 09, 2009