By Hudson George
March 13, 1979, was a day in Grenadian history we must never forget, and whatever happened before and after that day must be discussed if we want to move forward and accept democracy and individual freedom.
However, it is unfair and very disrespectful for persons of influence due to their professional status within society to tell us that we must focus only about the good things of the revolution. Persons who are trying to give us such an advice do not seem to understand and respect human beings feelings.
They fail to realise that the March 13, 1979, revolution was successful because oppressed Grenadians were able to unite together because they shared the same human feelings on that day. The oppressed Grenadians came out without fear and overthrew the Gairy regime.
The evil deeds of Gairy’s regime were what the leaders of the revolution preached against and used as evidence against Gairy, to gain support from the Grenadian masses throughout the period of the revolution. The good things that Gairy did were not mentioned by the them, therefore it is very selfish and disrespectful for any Grenadian whosever they are, to be that boldfaced to tell us that we must focus on the positive side of the revolution and try to suppress our memories of the negative events.
The Grenadian revolution did not belong to one group of people. It was supposed to be a people’s revolution, and if some people feel that the revolution did injustice to them, they should have a right to give their side of the story.
Personally, as a Grenadian I can say that the revolution was like the old English Language nursery rhyme, Solomon Grundy, who was born on a Sunday and buried on a Saturday. The leaders of the revolution were intellectuals who wanted to lead the people, but refused to listen to the voice of the people.
I can say that there were some revolutionaries who were right to show their disapproval of what was going on within the revolution, but their approach was wrong, because they went about the whole process the wrong way, trying to remedy the situation through violence.
I can say that the leaders of the revolution were happy and ready to use brute force against disgruntled revolutionaries who picked up arms to fight against them, because the leaders of the revolution were always scared of former supporters who did not say too much and just went about their daily life of survival.
Additionally, I can say that the revolution did not allow influential persons with a strong rural base to represent the rural communities in the interest of rural people. However, I know that my critics will say that I am talking rubbish and they will make excuses and say that Bernard Coard and Unison Whiteman were born in rural parts of Grenada.
But the fact is that Bernard Coard and Unison Whiteman became urbanised at an early age, because they did not live most of their lives in the rural parts of the country where they were born. They spent most of their years in St George’s and in foreign countries where they went to school and work for some time as professionals.
Those among us who want to glorify the revolution must also glorify Eric Gairy and his GULP party regime too, if they want to avoid talking about our brutal political past. Both regimes had similar political culture of doing good and bad things that left a major impact on the Grenadian society.
Grenada is supposed to be a Westminster democracy, but unfortunately, up to this present time in our history, we are still struggling to enjoy media freedom. Some of our journalists continue to play politics with the social media privilege that they have in their domain. Those of us who have an opinion that is not politically in line with what those mini media lords want to hear are despised and sometimes they go as far as warning us not to make any comments on their internet websites.
Sometimes we try to blame Eric Gairy as the genesis of political oppression in Grenada, but based on my personal experience within Grenadian political culture, it seems as though the majority of Grenadians do not like opposition. Whenever they have the privilege to control important institutions, they become oppressors, and when they fall to disgrace, those who take their place continue the legacy of oppression.
Therefore, in order for us to create a healthy functioning democracy we must end that cycle of ignorance so that the next generation can take Grenada to the next level. As long as we keep trying to avoid addressing the evils of our political past, we are creating a climate to repeat the same old violent political culture again.
Young people must be encouraged to ask questions about the revolution and they must enjoy the freedom to listen the stories of what took place, and those who were involved in the process must give the correct answers. Our young people should have the right to get the right answers from the various groups that were involved in the revolution.
However, I personally do not believe that any one of the groups involved in the fight and strife during the revolution period want to tell the Grenadian people the true story. And as long as they continue to keep their mouths shut, they should avoid trying to be so boldfaced and telling us to glorify the revolution.
I believe that the truth must reveal, if we want to discuss that very important period in our history. Therefore, to glorify the Grenada revolution is a continuation of abuse.
March 22, 2012