• 24 Jun, 2024

Condemn Diwali Night Liquor Fete Promotion in Guyana

Condemn Diwali Night Liquor Fete Promotion in Guyana

Condemn Diwali Night Liquor Fete Promotion in Guyana

Attention is drawn to a public announcement of a Diwali night fete by A1 Nightclub purportedly co sponsored by Banks DIH which has publicly dissociated itself from the event stating its  name was used without permission. Mr Ramesh Dookhoo of Banks DIH says the company would in no way be connected with such an activity. The company director also added that it is respectful of all faiths and religious organizations. He also notes that the company’s shareholders are of all religious denominations and respects peoples’ faiths and religious practices. 
This  concert is sacrilegious and hurts the sentiments of Hindus and other decent minded people and should be canceled. Banks DIH states that it does not engage in or support activities sensitive to or disrespectful of religions or other activities. We applaud Banks DIH position on the fete. Organizations and businesses should not use religious events to promote certain events. 
 
Diwali, popularly known as the Festival of Light,  in one of the most sacred occasions on the Hindu Calendar. Many non-Hindus also partake in the celebration and its religious observance. 
 
Diwali symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.   Performatively, Hindus welcome the Divine  Mother Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu and the bestower of wealth and prosperity into their homes on Divali night to pay obeisance to Her through Puja. Lord Ganesha , the remover of obstacles is also worshipped on Divali night. During this period, Hindus fast and avoid liquor and flesh and fetes. It is a very auspicious occasion not different from any observed by Muslims and Christians. Would they stage a fete on Eid or Good Friday? Why would the organizers of this fete want to desecrate the Hindu festival and disrespect those who observe it? Non Hindu friends historically tend to join Hindus during this festival taking in the beautifully illuminated lights and traditional lamps as well as feast on sumptuous vegetarian dishes including an assortment of delicious sweets. Fetes were historically avoided by non Hindus out of respect for the large Hindu community. These facts are well-known to all Guyanese. 
 
As such we, the undersigned, hold that it is not only sacrilegious but an insult to all Hindus and others who observe Diwali that the A1 Nightclub and Recreation Center in Soesdyke EBD would blatantly advertise a “Divali Night Lime” and announcing a “Banks Happy Hour” without consulting the company. In our multi-religious society such activities can only be interpreted as a form of disrespect and violence against Hindus. How could the organizers be so insensitive to Hindus and display such contempt and disrespect for the Hindu community? Nothing short of an apology is warranted. 
We demand that this disrespectful activity be called off at once and that the Nightclub issue an apology to the Hindu Community of Guyana. Failing that, we urge the public to boycott event. Mr Ramesh Dookhoo of Banks DIH says his company has distanced itself from the event.  
We also place and urge other organizations and individuals to desist in using the name of this sacred Festival or Parb for reasons other than its intended Dharmic purposes. 
 
 
Yours truly,
Dr Vishnu Bisram , Dr Baytoram Ramharack, Pandita Dr Indrani Rampersad, Dr Somdat Mahabir, Dr Ramesh Gampat, Dr Dhanpaul Narine, Anita Ramharack, Dr Kumar Mahabir, Hanoman Doolarchand, Ravi Dev, Nalini Mahabir, Nanda Sahadeo, Swami Aksharananda, Veda Nath Mohabir, Balram Rambrich, Parbatie Bisram, Ashook Ramsaran, Jai Lall, Ram Sahadeo, and many more.

Dr Vishnu Bisram

Dr Vishnu Bisram is Guyanese born who received his primary and secondary education in Guyana and tertiary education in the US and India. He is a fourth generation Indian. His great grandparents from both his mother and father’s sides were born in India -- Gurbatore from Ghaizpur, Amru from Azamgarh, Sau from Chapra, Mangri from Mau, Bhuri and Bhura Singh from Bharatpur, among others. They all came at different times to then British Guiana (1880s and 1890s) to work on sugar plantations as indentured laborers. After serving ten years, they were freed laborers. They remained on the colony rather than returned to India, married and had children. They used the savings from indentureship to purchase landholdings to cement their ties to their adopted land. They were not given free land. Vishnu Bisram is ninth of twelve children of Gladys and Baldat, rural farmers, she also was a seamstress and he a taylor and they attended to a kitchen garden as well. Vishnu attended the St Joseph Anglican (called English) primary school from 1966 to 1972. In 1972, he passed the annual nationwide Common Entrance exam winning a scholarship place to attend the government Berbice High School in New Amsterdam, some 17 miles from his home village of Ankerville, Port Mourant. He declined the placement scholarship and opted instead for the private Chandisingh High School to which his family pad to pay a tuition. He entered for eight subjects at the Cambridge University Exam in 1977. Vishnu migrated to the USA in 1977 to further his studies. He enrolled at the City College of City University of New York September that year at age 17, studying Bio-Chemistry and also completing a major in Political Science. After his BSc in Bio-Chem, he pursued graduate studies in International Relations earning a MA. He went on to complete multiple post graduate degrees including doctorates in Economics, Sociology, History, Political Science and Educational Administration. Dr Bisram taught for over forty years in various subjects in the US. He also served as a newspaper reporter and columnist for over four decades and is a well-known pollster in the Caribbean region. He is a specialist on the Indian diaspora traveling extensively around the globe to research and write about Indian communities. He published countless articles on various subjects in the mass media, journals, and books. He also organized international conferences on the Indian diaspora and presented papers at many conferences. He was a guest lecturer at universities in Mauritius, India, Fiji, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad, Suriname, USA, and other countries. He is a well regarded political analyst on American and Caribbean politics. He makes him home in Guyana, Trinidad, and America and travels frequently to India.