Welcome to Culture and History !
.“Biological traits could not be the basis for group foundation unless they were conceived as shared characteristics. It was this shared perception and common customs that create and distinguish one ethnicity from another.” [Max Weber 1906]
Caste, is the Root Cause of Division!! But the Majority of the Electorate Collective Opinion on, and Non Racial Voting Practice (NRVP), against Racial Voting (RV), will create and distinguish the Group from all other; and will win the Elections on May 11; and beyond. —Pastor:Elder Wilfred A. Wilson
Back Ground History
In traditional Indian Society, the use of the term “Untouchables”, with alternates titles: Dalit, External Cast, Harijan, and Panchama, refers to any member of a wide variety of low caste Hindu groups, including any person outside the Caste System. However, due to the constitution adopted by both India in 1949, and Pakistan in 1953, respectively, the use of the term “Untouchables” and the collective restrictions associated with it, were declared illegal. Thus, in lieu of, the term “Untouchables, “an euphemism, is used, namely, Dalit, and this also carries negative undertones; but in India the “Scheduled Class” in most commonly used. The term “Untouchables” is also a major category under which varieties of hereditary Castes fall, and adhere to the social rule of Endogamy—ensuring marriage within the Caste Community.
The Scheduled Castes, with a population of one hundred and seventy million (170, 000,000), was so classified on basis of the work they did, their way of life and their ritualistic activities— which the higher castes considered polluted, for example, such work like handling the dead, and things dead, urine, feces; eating pork, chicken, doing watchmen job, etc.: while the indigenous Indians, (the Orthodox Castes) with a population of 84,000,000 are now referred to as Scheduled Tribes, were so classified because of what they ate only.
The lower castes were restricted to hamlets outside the town or
village boundary; also from entering temples, schools; and from wells which the higher castes drew their water. They (Low Class) were to some high castes, a serious pollution if touched, while to others, the untouchables’ mere sight was to them, a similar pollution. As a result many moved about at nights: and many sought their freedom “through conversion to Christianity, Islam, or Buddhism.” Today, the Indians’ constitution has established both the schedule castes, and the schedule tribes, i.e., the indigenous Indians, who fall outside the Indian social hierarchy: by providing them with special educational and vocational privileges, and proper representation in parliament; under the untouchable Offence Act 1955. In spite of this, due to existing traditional divisions between the pure and the polluted caste groups, the latter’s emancipation is a slowed down.
About the group who came
This group who came to Guiana’s shores as indentured laborers, and in spite of their caste system, they were forced to live closely together in the very places the freed slaves once occupied, lived under the same harsh conditions as slaves, and were even flogged with the cat-o-nine- tails without mercy by the planters. In truth and in fact, they endured some tough aspects of slavery at the hands of the planters from 1838 to1845: before the indentured laborers’ program was temporarily stopped. Interestingly, a commission of inquiry was even sent from England to Guiana about that time to investigate into the harsh treatment of Indentured laborers by the Planters. That done, and conditions began to change progressively during the arrival of the Portuguese in 1845, India lifted the restriction and the Indian Indentured laborers’ program started again.
Musing the nature and causes of the divide
Today, existing in our multi racial society Guyana could be a traditional caste culture, of a group that is an integral part of our Guyanese society. A group who, perhaps, undoubtedly might have been influenced by their history, and the very caste system they once ran away from. And, also, may have in time considered itself an elite class above all others, and therefore to vote race is best in their group’s interest in order to stay up there; hence the current divide between the two major races— it would appear. For example: when it comes to an event, say, national election, racial voting is encouraged (but not all Guyanese Indians vote race and likewise not all Guyanese Africans). And because of the racial attitude of some, social and economical progress is slowed down especially.
How longer will this stale born “pickney” (racial voting) be allowed to keep the people divided; especially during national elections? How long will it stand in the way of progress, discourage foreign investors, and slow down our economy? It is therefore important that all the multi-racial groups for positive change come together, and move this obstinate, spoiled child (racial voting) out of the way, for the common good.
If the Electorate become fully aware of the importance of Non Racial Voting (NRV) for issues that will benefit us, and for democracy, at the upcoming elections on May 11, and how it (the electorate) can transform Guyana initially just within 24 hours; then it must first establish a foundation with a shared distinctiveness or uniqueness.
For example, like the opinion that Non Racial Voting for matters that would be beneficial to everyone, is better than Racial Voting that has proven to be neither any real benefit to the people, nor to the country. If everyone share this OPINION and pass it down as a norm to all new members of the group, who will in turn pass it down …, then the Collective View on that OPINION, plus the common custom of voting based on that OPINION, would create and distinguish this particular group of the Electorate— way of voting from all others.
According to Max Weber (1906-11), “It was this shared perception and common customs that create and distinguish one ethnicity from another.”
.Comments & Conclusion
Non racial voting based on issues is a solution that could defeat racial voting, provided that, this culture is taught and established and shared widely in our ten regions within a limited time of three months. It is possible that, it (the program) will affect positive change/s, apart from other strategies in progress. Knowledge is power you see. The increase of voters against racial voting at the upcoming elections on May 11; when compared to the results of the previous election in 2011, will have determined the percentage of the electorate in the ten regions that would have learnt and practice the non racial voting culture. And since the APNU is all about Non Racial Voting (NRV), Democracy, and solving issues affecting Guyana and the Guyanese people; who would not want to support the APNU? It is most likely that people, who really want real change, and have become the change, would support the APNU, which is of itself the change; and would bring the desired change to Guyana, and Guyanese.
Below is a message in song from our Guyanese children, and a section that represents Guyana’ future, and Leaders,too.. Remember all of Guyana’s children in your planning and decision making, Leaders, all.
Please click the white arrow, and listen to a beautiful song entitled, “If we hold on together our dreams will never die”: by The Success Elementary School (Guyana) choir. Enjooooooy! Amen!
—By Wilfred A. Wilson