This writing is for President Granger, the appeal of a humble citizen – me. As I look at this Guyana of ours today, at where it is trapped, at how it hurts, I reach out to you, President David Granger, my leader, my fellow citizen and, above all, my brother. Help us heal, sir, to begin again; it starts with you, Mr. President.
Excellency, I did something rare in this country. I identified with you publicly, and what I thought you represented deep down inside. I still do, but less so now. When I stood for you, I did so without ambition, with zero expectation. So, today, I can cry out to you, for the sake of this cherished land and nothing else. I have the highest anticipation that you will respond by taking that painful step of doing what is right for Guyana and for all of us.
When I associated with what I believed was the embodiment of you, the promise of something nobler and more ideal, for this society, I did so not as an Indian, but as a child of this scorched, yet fruitful, soil of our shared Guyanese world. As an Indian, I was and am reviled for it. It is a small price to pay, for such was the strength of my convictions. I stand by them. Standing against the tide has made a better man of me, I am glad I did.
Today, I continue to look at our Guyana, this abode of my memory, history, and endeavours at fidelity. And all I sense are the frustrations with the self-inflicted frailties that cause so much wounding, so many pains. I could say with solid justification, Mr. President, for that you are responsible, but that would be part of the endless looking back at yesterday, and the ceaseless recriminations that flow so powerfully today, which lead nowhere.
For my part, I think it much better to examine and understand the state in which we are today. As a nation we are plagued by uncertainty; as a people we are consumed by bigotry; and as for the future, we are wracked by a wretched anxiety of the spirit. I look at today, and I still care enough to look ahead at our vast and much vaunted possibilities. And it is because of this, that I dare to speak directly to you, to use the gifts of my mind and my pen to write publicly to you. I do so openly.
Our fellow citizens are in agony over the ongoing instability, the discontinuities. I am. I believe, sir, that you are too. It is why I look to you. For you, Mr. President, can and should do it. You – my leader and my brother – should do it, this gracious and godly thing; this step that is right and about honor, duty, country.
Like me, you are a believer; you are so named. Like me, you have been well named; those names tell stories of a different time, and of men of a different kind. You, Mr. President, were named after kings: one of sacred scripture and the other from literature’s timeless legends. Men that have awed generations and brought a glow to more. You, and I dare in all humility and respect, to call on you, David Arthur in the belief that you can still be so and do so today. It is testimony to the esteem held for you that those who disagree and oppose still hold you well. That is a special grace for any man, a leader especially, to own. Do not diminish it, do not profane it. Do not disinherit this precious bequest. It is time to step down with honor.
I say to you today, Mr. President, be different today. I share the pained words of Al Gore in 2000: “I accept the finality of the outcome…tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people…I offer my concession.” Twenty years later, I do not think of what could have been, but what is present. I say too, Mr. President, that as difficult and bitter it is to do: concede. Concede, please. For the sake of Guyana, please concede. The legacy will be not of a leader with the stubbornness of steel but of a man who did what was right.
I will regard you higher if this is done. All Guyana would, because a new standard would be set. The world will applaud for a battle well fought, and everything left on the field of struggle and engagement. Concede, for the greater good – for the future of our fragile democracy.