Williams more than a match for Mandela
Nelson Mandela was a great personality. It was this personality and his core convictions that made him a great leader of his people and thus a great man.
However, in our national context, Dr Eric Eustace Williams, the father of our nation, and Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler, the father of the labour union movement, were greater than Mandela. It is only due to geography that our icons are not recognised universally.
Nelson Mandela did not possess the superior intellect or the prophetic wisdom of Dr Williams, but his resoluteness, dedication to those who labour and sacrificial mindset are reminiscent of Butler.
Dr Williams, well aware his final rites would be turned into a Carnival-like affair—a shrine would have been erected at his grave site, there would be anniversary pilgrimages to this shrine—made cremation his last wish. He did not want his death to take precedence over his achievements. Nelson Mandela’s achievements are in danger of being overshadowed by his death.
Did Mandela directly or indirectly contribute more to the development of our nation than Prof Ken Julien? Prof Julien is the father of our industrialisation programme. It is because of his intelligence, foresight and love of country that we have become the industrial giant we are today. He is responsible for the Pt Lisas Industrial Development Estate. He successfully completed the mandate given him by the father of our nation.
Unfortunately, the vast wealth of the country is not spread evenly throughout the society. Sometimes we get a two-day reprieve!