Cheddi Jagan, Guyana’s First Chief Minister

Cheddi Jagan was Instrumental in New Human Development Resolution released by the United Nations.

2-Chedi_Jagan WITH Levi_EshkoL

Levi Eshkol and Cheddi Jagan

Cheddi Jagan was born as Cheddi Berret Jagan but later on used Cheddi Jagan. He was born in Port Mourant, Guyana on the 22nd day of March 1918. As a young man, Jagan was a very studious man. He attended college at Queen's College in Georgetown and then pursued studies in Washington, D.C.’s Howard University Dental School and Chicago’s Northwestern University. He also studied social sciences in New York City before going back home.

He was married to a former communist youth organization member, Janet Rosenberg and had two children, Nadira Jagan and Cheddi Jagan Jr. Initially, Dr. Cheddi Jagan served his fellow men by being a dentist in Georgetown. However, he soon realized that his destiny laid in politics and hence plunged into it to dedicate his life for the welfare of his country. Aside from being a politician, a dentist and a visionary, Dr. Cheddi Jagan was also a prominent speech writer and political author. Dr. Jagan served fruitful years in his home country and died of a heart attack on the 15th day of February 1997 in Washington DC, United States.

Cheddi Jagan’s Influence on His Country of Birth

1-President_Cheddi_JaganWhen he was back in his home country, he decided to help build and develop his country’s governance. As such, Dr. Jagan was elected in different positions in Guyana during his lifetime. In November 1947, Dr. Cheddi Jagan was elected and included in the colonial legislative body. On the 1st day of January in 1950, a group called PPP or People’s Progressive Party was established with Dr. Cheddi Jagan as their leader.

In 1953, Dr. Cheddi Jagan was elected as the first Chief Minister of Guyana. However, he was stripped of his power by Britain and he resigned after 133 days. Because of this, Dr. Cheddi Jagan’s movements were limited to Georgetown from the years 1954 up to 1957. In 1961, PPP rose victorious in the election and for the second time, Dr. Cheddi Jagan became the Chief Minister in which he served for three years. In 1992, Dr. Cheddi Jagan was elected as the President of Guyana and served productive years in his country.

During his tenure, Dr. Cheddi Jagan contributed much to his country. His ruling wass characterized by a union movement revival as well as improvement on infrastructures like houses, hospitals, and roads. He also focused on the re-commitment to education and medical services in rural places. It was during his time that Guyana moved to bigger economic deregulation.

Cheddi Jagan’s Influence on the World

Un-known to many, the recently adopted New Human Development Resolution released by the United Nations was based on the New Global Human Order that the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan authored on March 1995. A man of peace, human rights, development, social justice, environmental sustainability, and equality, this order goes back to Jagan’s dream of having a humane and more just world. This was how he envisioned the world and the people. His New Global Human Order proposal was successfully placed on the United Nations General Assembly agenda in the last quarter of 2000. 

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By Liya Das



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