Samuels blasts media for unfair criticism

first_imgLONDON (CMC): Veteran stroke-maker Marlon Samuels has praised the West Indies side for their dramatic comeback in the ongoing Test series against England, and has also defended his teammates against unfair criticism from pundits in the media. The Caribbean side was crushed inside three days by an innings and 209 runs in the opening Test at Edgbaston, but rebounded to stun the hosts by five wickets in the second Test at Headingley last week, after remarkably chasing down 322 on the final day. “People were writing off the players, but they are young, hungry and showing fight by winning a Test in tough conditions,” Samuels was quoted as saying. “West Indies are not on top and playing the best, but the media is too critical. They need to give these youngsters a chance because not every player starts out at the top of their game.” The young Windies side came under heavy criticism following the first Test defeat, when they lost 19 wickets on the third day to be dismissed for 168 and 137. Shai Hope, 23, who made 15 and four in the game, came to life at Leeds with scores of 147 and 118 not out – becoming the first batsman in 127 years of first-class cricket at the venue to score a century in each innings. Samuels said it was important that the young players be given time to develop. “In history, there are greats who started slow, and players who started fast and never last,” the 36-year-old Jamaican said. “It’s a game of glorious uncertainty and you have to give guys a chance to shape their destinies. Hopefully, Jason (Holder) and the boys can finish it off now.” West Indies face England in the decisive third Test at Lord’s, starting Thursday. Samuels, who played the last of his 71 Tests last November, will be a part of the Windies one-day side who arrive here later this month for a five-match series. His last ODI was nearly a year ago as he has been barred from selection since, after failing to make himself available for the entire Regional Super50 tournament – the Caribbean domestic one-day tournament – as per Cricket West Indies’ eligibility criteria.last_img read more

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Being a (hyphenated) Guyanese

first_imgIn his remarks last week at the dedication of the Indian Arrival Monument, President Granger emphasised that “the nation is multicultural”, and that “little attention was paid by those who brought us together (as) to how these various groups with different cultures would coexist cohesively. It is the challenge of the present generation to overcome those differences and to continue to construct a cohesive country.”But he ignored the insight of MG Smith, who pointed out that if the different cultural segments were ‘differentially incorporated’ into the power relations of their societies, this fact would inevitably precipitate conflict as groups struggle to achieve “equality”. As citizens of a Guyana state that promises equality, our lived experiences inevitably determine how we feel about the attainment (or not) of that egalitarian promise. These experiences, after all, are filtered through our cultural lenses, and it should not surprise any that if our several groups (defined cultural) are differentially incorporated into the power structure, political consciousness would cleave along cultural (read ethnic) lines. Whither, therefore, the cohesiveness?After decades of focusing on an economistic notion of equality, there is still not an appreciation of the need for cultural equality also. So much for the politics of ‘identity’ and ‘recognition’ in Guyana.There are some who posited that if we had (or have) economic equality among the various ethnic groups, our troubles would be over. I’d like to vehemently disagree. “Man does not live by bread alone”; there are many other “goods” we compete over, include cultural self-worth, even as we always measure our “deprivation” relatively.An indicia of the ‘power relations’ is who gets to define what is the “national culture” to which all groups have to genuflect? And it is the differential incorporation of the various cultural groups in this equation that our policies on “multiculturalism” have to address.But “multiculturalism demands that society presents a full range of prospects, membership, and respect to all its members, regardless of cultural and religious differences; while also creatively accommodating them in a fashion that is both morally persuasive and practically effective for the majority of society.” Can Granger honestly say this is the case in Guyana today for Indian Guyanese?It’s positive the “Ministry of Culture” has been jettisoned. The name itself – CULTURE – suggests pushing a singular, monolithic, overarching “culture” as a stalking horse for assimilation through the back door. We suggest our motto be changed to “Unity in Diversity through Equality in Diversity”. One definition of ‘multiculturalism’ suggests that it is “a systematic and comprehensive response to cultural and ethnic diversity with educational, linguistic, economic and social components and specific institutional mechanisms”. This suggests areas in which we initially pursue equality.Now, we want to stress that we certainly are not emphasising any ‘separatist ideal’ in which each group lives in hermetically sealed enclaves. We are suggesting that the ‘equal treatment in culture’ imperative, if implemented and becomes real, would eliminate the barriers of hauteur and exclusion that set off inevitable reactions of resistance. We believe that when we deal with each other as equals, there would be the inevitable cross-cultural fertilisation (in all directions) and not one-way; that is, seen as top down.With the state out of ‘culture’, the Government should focus on promoting a feeling of “Guyaneseness” among our people through the conscious construction of a democratic state – the creation of conditions wherein we are all treated as one, equally, by the state.Equality of opportunity; human rights, encouragement of diversities, due process; justice and fair play and rule of law may seem dry compared to the warmth of the blood ties of “nation”, but they can engender the unity of public purpose and the recognition of individual worth, wherein we can be proud of our common citizenship. Citizenship of Guyana has to become something that has concrete meaning to all of us. It is not under the present discriminatory policies of the coalition Government against Indian Guyanese, and this has been the greatest failure of the coalition Government.If we were all treated equally by the state, our ethnicities would be defined outside our “Guyaneseness”, and to be African-Guyanese or Indian-Guyanese would not be contradictory in any sense. The first part of our identity would be specific, while the latter would be universalistic. The “national” will now be a space where ethnically imagined communities can live and share.To be “Guyanese” would be to share moral precepts – norms, values and attitudes – rather than shared cultural experience and practice.last_img read more

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