President urges Dharmic Sabha’s executives to help build national unity- as organisation observes 40th anniversary
Georgetown, GINA, January 9, 2014
The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha’s observance of its 40th anniversary was described by President Donald Ramotar as a time for reflection on the contribution made by its founder Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud, and called on the organisation’s executives to help build unity, not only amongst Hindus, but all Guyanese.
In lauding the late Pandit, he said, “In 1974, times were not easy, and if he was not who he was, it would have been difficult for this organisation to survive,” the President told the gathering at the Shri Krishna Mandir in Campbellville on Wednesday evening.
President Donald Ramotar addressing the gathering at the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha’s 40th anniversary observance at the Shri Krishna Mandir in Campbellville
He recalled that it was the fight for democracy, as well as religious freedom that drove the revered pandit to do what he did, and that the period was tantamount to the beginning of a dictatorship which saw general elections being rigged along with that of trade unions and even religious bodies.
“That is the only way we can have immunisation against other attacks that may come. We have to have freedom of diversity, and we have to be part and parcel of all the developments”.
He also recalled the oratory skills of the late parliamentarian when debating matters of legal affairs or agricultural issues.
President of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha Dr Vindhya Persaud speaking to the gathering at the Shri Krishna Mandir in Campbellville
He reminded guests to seek knowledge and not be swayed by reports by some sections of society who are practicing similar tactics to those seen in the mid 1960s, which led to life deteriorating for all, and resulted in Guyana moving from being the most developed country in the Caribbean to the poorest in 1992. This, he said must never be allowed to occur again, as he warned against those who preached disunity.
The Head of State was accompanied by his son Alexi Ramotar, and Prime Minister Samuel Hinds who paid tribute to his late parliamentary colleague Persaud, whom he said always, invited him to ceremonies held to observe festivals such as Diwali and Phagwah and made him feel welcome.
The Prime Minister recalled Pandit Persaud telling him that, “all of the religions are like streams flowing down to the same ocean, and we should all love and help each other”.
A section of the gathering at the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha’s 40th anniversary observance at the Shri Krishna Mandir in Campbellville
Head of the Dharmic Sabha and daughter of the later Persaud Dr. Vindhya Persaud said that 40 years for any organisation requires immense struggle, dedication and commitment and that was displayed by her father when he answered the call which led to the establishment of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha.
“ Today we sit here as proud members of the Hindu Dharmic Sabha, proud because we pledged to continue the work of Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud who stood up in the wilderness as a voice of not only Hindus, but as a voice of the Guyanese people who needed his voice, his actions and more importantly his vision.”
She also thanked all of the organisations and persons who followed the vision put forward by her father, and their cohesiveness that enabled the organisation to achieve its milestone.
Senior Vice president of the organisation Parmanand Bhanu is brief remarks, recalled the efforts made by the late Pandit to establish the Shri Krishna Mandir and the sacrifices throughout the years to build an awareness of Hinduism across Guyana. “I urge all devotees to remember the sacrifices made by pandit and the lessons he taught us on how to be good Hindus and citizens”.
Congratulatory messages and tributes were also made by representatives of affiliated Hindu organisations and the Hari Krishna Movement from various communities across the country.
The Hindu Dharmic Sabha has been active in many communities, not only as it as it seeks to preserve its rich culture, but also as advocates against alcohol abuse, domestic violence, suicide and HIV/Aids prevention. Its members have also undertaken charity drives to assist the underprivileged and numerous literacy programmes.
The organisation will hosting the Sonu Nigam troupe at the National Stadium on May 4, as part of its anniversary celebrations and also to mark the 176th anniversary of East Indian arrival in Guyana.