48 Years ago in 1962 and on August 6 to be exact Jamaica became a sovereign nation in that it secured Independence from Great Britain. While this may be the case the question I posted the following question on my facebook status today “ Is Jamaica really Independent ?, What is really Independence? Or is it simply a screen saver or smoke screen? My celebration is somewhat low keyed at this time but I did the formality in attending the church service at St Martin in the Fields, this evening a reception at the Jamaica High Commission which is I am always reminded is by “Invitation only” and the various funs in the park and this year the “ I love Jamaica day and Jerk Cook Out)”. While I may be chastised in some quarters for celebrating Independence and while I will say I am somewhat muted, low keyed or down played, my actions may deem to be conflicting. I cannot deny the struggles of our fathers and our one and only Mama ( Nanny of the Maroons) who died in the struggle for freedom from oppression and slavery.
But how does this link with Independence from Great Britain, let us look at the meaning of Independence. According to wikipedia Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory.
It goes further stating that an attainment of independence should not be confused with revolution, which typically refers to the violent overthrow of a ruling authority. While some revolutions seek and achieve national independence, others aim only to redistribute power — with or without an element of emancipation, such as in democratization — within a state, which as such may remain unaltered. Furthermore, some countries were granted independence without any revolutionary acts. The Russian October Revolution, for example, was not intended to seek national independence; the United States Revolutionary War, however, was.
While the celebration is raging and the Diaspora is dancing because of the events of 1962 there is also a major cross section of the divide who are somewhat critical and apprehensive and is of the view that we have stagnated as a nation. There are some who are of the view that Jamaica is far from being independent. Another further said that the slavery mentality need to be diminished and also the majority of the people has met their demise from not being educated enough to get up and stand firm like our forefathers serve, their blood ran like water to get us this so called independence. While the struggles may not be forgotten it maybe that the ethos of the struggle is forgotten and need to be rekindled
The final conclusion is that we may not even reached the status of independence but more interdependence due to the global world that we live in. It may be construed that there is no true independent nation as we all have some reliance one to another. But may I put it to you maybe Jamaica is at a ripe and pivotal position in now being a Republic and severe ties with Great Britain and the Commonwealth .Do we need an eye of the Queen in Jamaica? The last time I recall was someone writing saying it is difficult to get a visa to come to the UK, strange of such a request when Jamaica should be a an ex-colony with still the Queen at the head. Then the question is put to the Commonwealth, what is your relevance and somehow the answer is short on coming of any substance.
Yes celebrate we must but do understand why we celebrate for where we were, where we are and where we are going.
God Bless Jamaica.