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Mutabaruka: Rastas indisciplined use of ganja

Mutabaruka chides Rastas for indisciplined use of ganja

BY BASIL WALTERS Observer staff reporter
Monday, July 28, 2003 www.jamaicaobserver.com

CONTROVERSIAL Rastafarian poet/broadcaster, Mutabaruka, last week chided some members of his religious faith for indisciplined behaviour and what he said was their irresponsible use of ganja.

"Sometime people take discipline for bowing. Like if a one get discipline him feel sey him a bow to babylon," he told Rastafarians attending the Rastafari Global Reasoning 2003 at the University of the West Indies Mona campus.

"I find that mi brethren dem sometime, in order to feel like dem fighting against babylon, them get indiscipline. So them get others uncomfortable by their indiscipline," he added.

Although the outspoken Mutabaruka was not a member of the panel of speakers participating in a discussion on the reported persecution of Rastas in Cuba, he used the opportunity provided during the question-and-answer period to challenge Rastafarians to be more responsible in their use of ganja.

He said that it was their indisciplined use of ganja that resulted in the conference being relocated from the Social Sciences Lecture Theatre to the Old Library.

"There is a reason why we are here and not over there," Mutabaruka said. "A man give wi him place to keep a function and yu know sey, it's going to aggravate him and yu just start to blow the smoke all over the place. And if a man come with one cigarette, lightning, earthquake and thunder,"

He said that he was in contact with some Rastafarians in Cuba about the persecution issue and pointed out "one must understand that there is a genuine fear in people about Rastafari and marijuana. And in Cuba right now there is even a worse fear than any other island. There is a fear in the Cuban Administration that Rasta is going to bring ganja into their country and corrupt the minds of dem people".

According to the dub poet, a recent attempt by someone from Spain to get some artistes, including himself, to perform at a festival in Cuba failed because the Cuban Government made it clear that they did not want any reggae artistes from Jamaica in the country because of the ganja situation.

"I'm in sympathy with the brethren and sistren in Cuba because I understand what is happening when it come on to ganja," Mutabaruka said. "But Rasta have to decide if ganja is a sacrament or is just something that man want to do like when people smoke cigarette. Because what is happening now is not a sacrament thing I'm seeing.

"Man nah just stand up pon corner a bun him sacrament. Man nah look woman and bun him sacrament. Sacrament is something that is sacred. And how I see it handle right now, a tell yu the honest truth, mi woulda behave them same way (like the authorities in Cuba). And it may sound very anti-ganja, but wi just a sey, discipline is not bowing. We must learn to separate being disciplined and bowing to babylon. And we need to form back ourselves in a certain disciplined way."

Almost 100 Rastafarians representing over 20 countries attended the international assembly.

MUTABARUKA... I find that mi brethren dem sometime, in order to feel like dem fighting against babylon, them get indiscipline

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Mutabaruka: Rastas indisciplined use of ganja
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