Thakur's Statements Questioned
In a letter leaked to the media, University of Guyana (Berbice Campus) Lecturer Dr Rishi Thakur has been taken to task over comments he made during a presentation to the Special Select Committee on the Guyana Cricket Administration Bill on February 18.
Asking serious questions of Minister Frank Anthony on the matter is Presidential Adviser Odinga Lumumba.
In his letter to Minister Anthony, who is Chairman of the Committee, Lumumba said, “I was shocked and dismayed by the comments of Dr. Thakur…” Quoting the portion of the presentation made by Dr Thakur:
“It was seen as little more than just irregular that the near 70 percent of the management personnel of the BCB was drawn from the African Community when it represented less than 30 percent of the population, in a community where the majority of cricketers and clubs would have been from the east Indian Community, representing about 65 percent of the population but less that 30 percent of the management personnel of the BCB.
It finally appeared as a process of organised exclusion when we wrote that the three most successful clubs in the post war history of cricket in Berbice, Skeldon, Albion and Port Mourant, could only muster one of the twenty two (22) positions on the various management committee of the BCB.”
Lumumba noted in his missive that, “During his presentation an opposition member asked him if he was implying that the 70 percent of Africans composition of the BCB was responsible for the underdevelopment of the cricket in Berbice, and surprisingly his response was in the affirmative. I believe that this section of his presentation should be brought to the full attention of Parliament for condemnation and withdrawal.”
Lumumba said the Lecturer should be asked to provide scientific data that outline how the majority of one race over another in any given entity can lead to this underdevelopment of an entity. He further noted the contributions of Peter Abdool, a non-African Guyanese, to boxing as the head of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control over the years and called for full condemnation of “…racism when it raises its ugly head.”