Cheddi Jagan Research Centre
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Tributes to Cheddi Jagan

A Glimpse: The Emancipators of Man

by Richard Kanhai

In the highways and the by-ways
Along life's journey,
Fraternity, equality, liberty,
The norm of life and living
Ceased to be.
Greed, injustice, racism,
Corruption, lying, egoism,
Cheating, dealing and killing,
The pattern became.
And man the indivisible
Strangers and slaves became
To follow man.

To toil in hunger and thirst,
To sleep in fear and in dirt,
To be sick and still to work,
To complain and be beaten,
Blood bleeds on the grass like dew.
To die and be buried
In graves unknown.

Hate breeds hate,
So does anger.
A voice was heard,
With mouths a-gaping
Heads were raised
Expectant,
Daring,
Courageous,
Louder grew the voice.
Like a clarion call
Far and wide went the sound,
In the resounding hills it re-echoed,
Like a beacon light
Man saw freedom's banner unfurled
The battle began.

In Different climes and places
The hour produceth the man.
A Socrates, a Moses, a Confucius,
A Jesus, a Mohamed, an Askoka,
A Washington, a Simon Bolivar, a Marx,
A Lenin, a Gandhi, a Nehru,
An Allende, a Martin Luther King,
A Mao Tse Tung, a Castro.
Numerous others also there have been,
Not unknown are their names.

From an unknown and obscure land,
Except to exploitative robber barons,
Talented thieves and gentelman-rascals,
A little land, Guyana by name,
Came a little man, Cheddi Jagan by name.
Two-score years have passed
The imperialists predators,
Wolves all in sheep's clothing
He confronted and exposed.
The leaderless, the aimless,
The poor, the hungry, the exploited,
That freedom will not be handed
In a golden platter
He taught and he led.

Ignored, but ignoring,
Unnoticed, but noticing,
Trusted, was distrusted, was betrayed,
Cursed, abused, ridiculed, shot at, jailed,
Of crimes not committed
Accused and found guilty.
Of sterner stuff, undaunted,
Knees never bent before insolent might,
A David confronting Goliath's imperialistic
Machination,
Ever smiling, his ground he still stands.
Of such a man, of such men,
Shakespeare truely acclaims:
"What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted,
Thrice is he armed who hath his quarrel just.
And he is but naked, though his heart be locked in steel
Whose quarrel with injustice is corrupted."

© Richard Kanhai

 

Ingratitude to A Great Son

by J. Yaria

Now Guyanese are your memories short?
Remember your true son that played his part
Who saved us from a shakled chain
And still not grateful to his far-seeing brain.

So come now and answer this
Isn't federation now a blessed myth?
Wasn't he blasphemed from head to toe?
This living great that saved us much woe.

Some people against him did stand
With most of the wealthy in the land
And those that combined with the little eight
Only oh, only if they had known their fate.

Should'nt he be thanked who saw in mist
To add not Guyana to Federation's list
He alone stood and said, go take the plunge
And for you I'll wait in the lounge.

This great man had seen so far
And kept us out of Federation's war
Alone he smiled without pain
And kept his eyes on that shackled chain.

So one by one the links fell apart
Oh what confusion and havoc it wrought
So whom are we grateful for the gift
To be out of Federation's rift?

Should we wait until he's gone to the great beyond
To give bouquets to this great man
Hand it to him now and gladen his heart
As he continues to play his nobel part.

© J. Yaria

 

A Tribute

by Lisa Hoosein

A man who loved all
A man loved by all
A man of integrity
A man of fortitude.

This man our President
Guyana's son, Dr. Cheddi Jagan.

A man who fought for all
A man who give his all
A man of strenght
A man of compassion.

This man our President
Guyana's son, Dr. Cheddi Jagan.

A man who heard the call
A man who heeded that call
A man of devotion
A man of sacrifice.

This man our President
Guyana's son, Dr. Cheddi Jagan.

A man of justice
A man of heresy
A man of distinction
A man of quintessence.

This man our President
Guyana's son, Dr. Cheddi Jagan.

Possessing a virtuous heart
Of manifolf layers of complexities
Seemingly a strong tower
Now, we know delicately fragile.

We love you
Guyana's son, our own
Dr. Cheddi Jagan.

© Lisa Hoosein

 

The Great

by Kesh Kumar

Serenely he smiled, and adorned with colorful garlands,
He reached and he touched the calloused and uncalloused hands
Of as numerous shapes, sizes, forms, hues and colours,
As the garlands and their multifarious flowers.
In an invisible halo was seen a heraldry of hope,
Hope to strive to survive, and to be able with life to cope.
He was fueled by the consuming flame of compassion,
Justice, peace, and truth, were his enduring obsession.
With fortitude and forthrightness he pursued his belief.
To multitudes of aggrieved he brought great relief.
His small stature soared above the crowd, and he stood tall
Opposed to enticements, or any evil call.
For the downtrodden, in youth, he wept at their grave,
And thence pledged his life for other's lives to save.
By the perpetrators of woe, he was vilified and persecuted,
And for his pursuits for his people he was punished and isolated.
When, betrayed by his own ranks, he was left all alone,
Unmoved, he stood firmly, like a statue carved in stone.
Undaunted, he persisted as indefatigably as in youth,
In his passionate pursuit of progress, peace, prosperity, and truth.
After thirty years or more, when the time became rife,
To his people he restored bread, and light, and life.
With new found strength and inspiration and hope,
The people shall rise and comfortably cope
With whatever adversities they may encounter,
For the spirit of the father shall never falter.

From;
The Face that Smiles, Toronto 2000
© Kesh Kumar

 

His Excellency

by Philip Fraser

A shining example

To the old, a legend

To the young, a song for

They who are yet to come

© Philip Fraser

 

From Night to Day

by Dillia Sookdeo

Out of each day must come a night,
Out of each night must come a day,
Together, the two form a continuous circle
A circle that must never be broken.

It links us to the past
And links the past to us
We should never forget the things of the past,
For they are the indicators of the future.

The loss of a dear one
Is a loss that's never forgotten,
For the reflections of that life
Can only bring admiration.

The Guyanese nation will forever remember
Their former President and liberator,
For he will live on through his people
He is not a fallen hero, but an uplifted sirit.

The Honourable Dr. Cheddi Jagan died in the night,
He died the way he lived
Struggling and fighting all the way
Because he did'nt know how to give in.

He brought a nation closer together
To see life in a different view.
For, out of the night comes death and disaster,
Out of the day comes life anew.

© Dillia Sookdeo