President lauds Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha for perpetuating late Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud’s memory- as Kendra renamed after founder
Georgetown, GINA, November 24, 2013
The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha’s Sanskritik Kendra has been renamed after the late Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud, the founder of the organisation, who also was a political activist in Guyana’s anti-colonial struggle.
The newly christened Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud Dharmic Sanskritik Kendra was unveiled before President Donald Ramotar and Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, this morning as the organisation hosted its annual Kala Utsav. The event allows the youths of the various arms to congregate at the organisation in Ganges Street, Prashad Nagar and compete in the various art-forms for trophies, certificates and prizes.
President Donald Ramotar makes remarks on the occasion of the renaming of the Dharmic Sabha’s Kendra to the Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud Dharmic Sanskritik Kendra and the organisation’s 2013 Kala Utsav celebrations
The renaming of the Kendra after the founder is ‘fitting’ given that Pandit Persaud gave most of his life to the organisation, towards the promotion and preservation of Hindu culture, President Ramotar noted.
The late Pandit built the Sabha during a period of great political conflicts, just after the 1973 Elections, when political struggles at the time called for courageous people to stand up and take a stance. Pandit Persaud chose to stand up and be a part of the struggles, the President said.
He noted that the late Pandit’s prestige, strength and his personality grew in the organisation largely because of the fact that the Pandit identified the promotion of culture with the fight for the oppressed and for freedom and democracy. He likened the Pandit to Mahatma Gandhi in this regard, able to link religion and politics with the fight for democracy.
“He was a very tolerant man; he pursued tolerance and preached tolerance whilst he preached religious freedom and religious practices. He also preached tolerance of other religions and that is why he went right across-the-board, and everyone could have identified with him and could have loved him,” President Ramotar said.
President Donald Ramotar and Prime Minister Samuel Hinds enjoy the talents as Kala Utsav is observed at the newly renamed Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud Dharmic Sanskritik Kendra
“I want to congratulate the Dharmic Sabha for perpetuating his memory in this way, by giving his memory not only in the form of a building, but a living thing in which his thoughts and his Hindu philosophy would be perpetuated in the teaching that would take place here,” he said.
He expressed hope that the organisation would continue Pandit Persaud’s stance of being an alliance and voice for justice and for the poor in society.
Prime Minister Hinds in his brief address noted that the late pandit was an astounding Parliamentarian.
He too, commended the renaming of the organisation, and wished the organisation continued success and urged that they keep on with the work and traditions set by the late Pandit.
The organisation’s President, who is also the daughter of the late Pandit, Dr Vindya Persaud noted that the event was a bitter sweet moment. “It is a moment of immense pride for us. It is also a sad moment because this is the first Utsav that Pandit Ji would not be here,” she said.
She added that she had no doubt where ever the late Pandit’s heart lies, that he must be feeling an immense sense of peace and happiness that the organisation is continuing the traditions which he believed in, right in the building where they started. “I have no doubt that his blessings would be on each and every one of us,” she said.
Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud, who died in 2012 at the age of 77, founded and opened the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha on the May 5, 1991. It was at that time the only recognised Hindu and cultural academy in the Caribbean.
Since its establishment, the institution has served Guyanese faithfully, and the Hindu community particularly. Over the years the institution has conducted free of cost classes and several Pandits were trained.
The renamed institution was refurbished with funds collected through fund-raising efforts by its members.