Equality and freedom have advanced- President reminds –at Maha Shiv Raatri observance

Georgetown GINA, February 27, 2014


President Donald Ramotar joined members of the Cove and John Ashram and children of the Hindu College in the area, in observance of the auspicious Hindu observance of Maha Shiv Raatri in honour of Lord Shiva, where he highlighted that Guyana has advanced in terms of equality and freedom.

Maha Shiv Raatri, also known as the night of Shiva, is celebrated annually in reverence of Lord Shiva, on the thirteenth night/fourteenth day in the Krishna Paksha every year on the month of Maagh, according to the Hindu calendar.

President Donald Ramotar speaking to those gathered at the Cove and John Ashram for Maha Shiv Raatri observance

Speaking at the event today, President Ramotar told the gathering that as they pay reverence to Lord Shiva, they should try to apply his teachings to what the country is experiencing today.

President Ramotar noted that as one looks around, there are many conflicts, and Guyana is not without its share. He reminded that the country is made up of a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society which brings together individual strengths and tolerance, which are important for Guyana’s development.

“We bring different perspectives to the various issues that we face … there was a time when jobs were not available for people in different religious backgrounds, when you had to change your name to get a job in the civil service or to be a teacher,”  the President  said.

He mentioned the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan who had a vision for the equality of mankind, explaining that he struggled so that all religions can enjoy equal recognition in society.

“Do not take that for granted because we will keep preserving it, we will constantly build the prosperity of our country and prosperity has generally been associated with the PPP/C Government,” President Ramotar told the gathering.

President Donald Ramotar greeting the Swami at the Cove and John Ashram where Maha Shiv Raatri was being observed

Reflecting on the developments that occurred over the past two decades, he noted that Guyana was the only colonial country that developed a university for its people, which was quite significant.

“Over the last eight years, you would have noticed that the country has grown rapidly. Noticeable, was the transformation of the country’s landscape, thousands of schools constructed to ensure education delivery for every child, housing development, with more than 100,000 house lots distributed to both the low income and middle income …,” he stated

President Ramotar emphasised that these achievements would have come with a lot of struggle and sacrifice, which is still occurring today.

Children gathered for the Hindu observance, Maha Shiv Raatri

Meanwhile First Secretary of the Indian High Commission Tirath Singh who give an overview of the festival and its significance, lauded Guyana for preserving the Indian culture in the local multi- cultural society.


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