Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Stella misses the boat about Ramjattan - "C. Mattai"

Here's a section of a letter by "C. Mattai" in today's Kaieteur News:
Dear Editor,

Stella Ramsaroop, in her article in Sunday Kaieteur News of the 6th November, 2005 obviously missed the boat in attributing to Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan the assertion, firstly, that members of the National Assembly of the ilk of Chandisingh, Teekah and Nadir are politically immoral when they cross the floor and, secondly, that parties like the PNC and the PPP, which accept such cross-over, are acting immorally.

Mr. Ramjattan was at pains arguing that, since our Constitution allows such conduct, it cannot be immoral. “Constitutionality is generally synonymous with morality” is what I recall him positing.

It is clear that Mr. Ramjattan supports the constitutional rights of every member of the National Assembly to freedom of expression (which includes dissent), and freedom of association (which includes dissociation).

Does Stella so respect these rights of MP's? If she does, then, when an MP exercises it one way or the other, such an exercise can never be regarded as immoral!

Mr. Ramjattan is an ardent proponent of the free conscience school which Kaieteur's editorial “Jumping Ship II” so lucidly articulated and supported.

This is why he does not allow himself to be cribbed and confined by partisan party politics and paramount party leaders.

This is the higher morality he lives by and what got him into trouble with the PPP in the first place. He never crawled on his belly at the beck and call of Janet, Jagdeo, or Ramoutar, nor should he do so at the call of Stella.

Worshipping at the altar of this higher political morality, where national interests is given primacy over and above party dictates, is what all Parliamentarians must do religiously.

And the public is aware of Ramjattan doing just this. This is why he was lustily applauded at the launch by over 500 persons when he was so emphatic that he will not vacate his seat in Parliament until such time as he decides to do so.

The public is not only made up of letter writers of Stella's ilk, who by the way will not even vote in an election in Guyana.

Ramjattan's allusion to the three gentlemen – Nadir, Teekah and Chandisingh – was only made to demonstrate hypocrisy on the part of the PPP and PNC, who now cry immorality in an attempt to get himself and Trotman to vacate their seats.

As he forcefully argued, such a so-called immorality never dawned on these parties when these three gentlemen's dissociation inured to these parties' benefit.

There is no reason to attribute either acute intellectuality or dishonesty to Stella. Therefore, she can be accused only of having made an honest mistake in her reading of Mr. Ramjattan's article in the SN dated 5th November, 2005.

Perhaps she went on a shopping spree, drank too much rum and concerned herself too much with new shoes (cosmetic changes in image), and consequently dismally failed to appreciate Mr. Ramjattan's substance, namely, his emphasis and focus on constitutionality. Ramjattan's image needs no cosmetic changes. His old image will do. He needs no new shoes or even a shave.

If perchance it is Stella's view that Chandisingh, Teekah and Manzoor Nadir have been guilty of political immorality when they crossed the floor, and so too were the PPP and PNC when they happily took them, she should boldly express that view as her own.

She should not seek to ascribe same to Mr. Ramjattan, and then proceed to imply hypocrisy on a fundamentally false premise. This would be indeed intellectual dishonesty – thinly disguised...

C. Mattai

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