There is a startling number of Guyanese who refuse to acknowledge an important aspect of our culture which is our politics. The refusal to identify with Guyanese politics has contributed significantly to the decay of the political landscape of Guyana. In my opinion, many Guyanese avoid politics and political conversations in an attempt to pacify their own abhorrence for the current state the country is in. In fact, it is amazing how easily Guyanese claim that they are nonpartisan when asked about their political views. Furthermore, many prefer to dissociate themselves from politics as a whole in Guyana. Sadly, this endemicity is spreading and like most movements the #IAmApolitical movement has already covered a lot of ground in our Guyanese society. Even more disturbing is the high number of Youths who prefer to be identified as apolitical.
It is surprising that in 2015, some sixty-three years after Guyana achieved universal adult suffrage we are still unable to motivate our youths to participate in the decision-making process of Guyana. I guess the reason being is that politics over the years has left a bad taste in the mouths of Guyanese on either side of the table. Interestingly, you may be surprised at who the usual suspects are for this apparent reality. For example: we blame our parents who seem to be too politically polarized that many of them try to indoctrinate in us their biases; we blame our multi-ethnic demographic, which over the years has caused more division than unity; and, we even blame our political leaders who for the most part are only interested in our votes and not us as a nation. However, can we be honest with ourselves? Furthermore, can we look within and realize that in the year 2015 where technology is vast and information is readily available that any deficiency we may have in understanding ourselves, our nation and our politics is in fact, due to our own ignorance?
Poignantly, the fact of the matter is, regardless of who we blame, the problem persists and it is causing us our future. Throughout history human beings have always had a tendency to take the easy way out. In the Guyanese context, the easy way is the apolitical way. The reason being is that it apparently saves relationships, reduces the questions you are asked, does not criticize, prevents others from labeling you, and protects your conscience. However, while some youths may believe that it is better to be on the fence, the reality is that in an era where politics governs all aspects of our lives, it is irresponsible to be apolitical. Consequently, I believe that the apolitical youth is in fact a deterrent to the development of a nation. As such, we need to have a paradigm shift in the way our youths view politics, that is, a shift from being apolitical to being politically aware.
Once we can achieve this shift we will in turn develop a nation of politically aware youths. This will result in a nation that has more youths who are not living by the tales of elders; a nation with more youths are progressive thinkers; a nation that has more youths who can discern ideologies and policies that will benefit this country from those which will be a detriment; a country with more youths who can be honest with themselves about the current state of affairs and not hide behind the facade of the past; a country that has more youths who are not afraid to stand up and demand from our leaders the tools to develop Guyana; a country with more youths who will be more involved in crafting the future we want our offspring to inherit; and a Guyana that has more youths who understand that voting is a sure way to have your voice heard. Thus, it is when we stand up and speak up, that we can begin to step up and address the challenges the 21st century has to offer. Consequently, I believe that in 2015, Guyana has no place for being apolitical. Instead, Guyanese youths have the opportunity to embrace that aspect of our culture which we have shunned for years. We need to understand that politics is the foundation on which the true democracy of a nation is built and that we are the creators of the destiny we seek. Hence, to truly be One People and to become One Nation, we must be united in order to reach the One Destiny that Guyana fervently strive’s for.