• 20 Jul, 2024

Conference on Hindus in the Caribbean & the Diaspora - Somdath Mahabir

Conference on Hindus in the Caribbean & the Diaspora - Somdath Mahabir

Conference on Hindus in the Caribbean & the Diaspora - Somdath Mahabir

Upon learning that Irfaan Ali, will the "FEATURE SPEAKER" at this "CONFERENCE ON HINDUS IN THE CARIBBEAN & THE DIASPORA" I inquired why Irfaan Ali, who is not a Hindu, especially since the theme of the conference is "CHALLENGES FACING CARIBBEAN HINDUS AND PROPOSED SOLUTIONS". Dr. Kumar Mahabir sent me a rapid fire response. He wrote: "We have invited the President to speak at our inaugural international conference. His religion does not matter. His office counts."  I highlighted the words to reflect on - "His office counts".
 
In the interest of stimulating a Hindu discussion, let us examine how the "office of the President" and politicians, especially the PPP have been the most damaging to Hindus of Guyana. Here are a few examples only:
 
1) CPL Cricket Carnival: "Many revellers’ outfit were more appropriate for an “X-rated” show not “General Audiences” where children are looking on and being socialized to think that’s cool and okay...We were also deluged with photos of two female Government Ministers proudly and gleefully taking pictures with the scantily clad women who were gyrating, “grinding,” and shamelessly displaying their private areas. No wonder videos were released of some of our schoolchildren “grinding” on each other in a school. If this is the kind of thing our President had in mind when he said he wants Guyana to be the entertainment hub of Caricom... (Dr. Jerry Jailall, Bloggers thought Sodom and Gomorrah had descended upon Guyana at Cricket Carnival. KN Oct 05, 2022). The Office matters!
 
2) Holi into another `Stink and Dutty’ affair at National Stadium: "The Times report further added, “Meanwhile, those who flocked the stadium were definitely in a party mood – dancing to every tune booming through the speakers. Waving and having a grand time was the order of the day.” Given all of this focus of entertainment and partying, I do not think anyone, including Mr. Ramson and the coordinator W.R. Reaz, should delude themselves into believing that they were participating in anything remotely Hindu." (Swami Aksharananda. Let us not make Holi into another `Stink and Dutty’ affair. Stabroek News April 6, 2022). The "stink and dutty" Holi event at the National Stadium described by the Guyana Times as the “brainchild” of the Culture Minister, Mr. Ramson and “coordinated” by W. R. Reaz, both non Hindus. The Office matters!
 
3) Christian prayers in public schools: "I concur with Swami Aksharananda and Ferlin Pedro in their call for religious neutrality in public institutions. My concurrence is prompted by the Ministry of Education’s insistence that the prayer recited at an organised event hosted by the Ministry is a “universal” one. I fully agree that Christian-themed prayers have no place in our public institutions, particularly our public schools." (Ronald N. Emanuel. Prayer is a vast and multifaceted subject. Stabroek News November 6, 2021). The Office matters!
 
4) Violence against Hindus: This is not a secret. Check the GIFT Report and every prior and subsequent riots, including the Wismar massacre. Recently, my cousin, a 52 year old Hindu woman was raped and murdered in Corentyne. The Office matters!
 
5) Substantial decline in the Hindu segment of the population and substantial increase in mixed race. The Office matters!
 
6) Ravi Dev Ji - prominent Hindu: I am sure he would not forget what the party did to him. The Office matters!
 
7) Swami Aksharananda Ji - the most prominent Hindu and the only one with a track record of taking a consistent stand for Hindus: I am sure he would not forget what the party did to him. The Office matters!
 
Perhaps, the Executive Members listed on the brochure could chime in. Several Pandits including Reepudaman Persaud, Budram Mahadeo (Arya Samaj) and several others have been a part of the PPP and have never on record addressed any matter affecting the Hindu community. Pandits and their role in the PPP and PNC is an area of research that that is ripe for the picking. Moses in the Chronicle listed many of their names.
 
When I was approached to participate in this "international Hindu conference" I made it clear that I would not be interested if politicians are part of it. I am glad I declined. To me it is a great shame, when a bunch of Hindus plan a Hindu conference and place a non-Hindu, whoever he/she may be to deliver the feature address in Guyana and expect Hindus, especially of the high caliber of Swami Aksharananda to sit there and listen. It shows the utter disrespect for our true Hindu scholars and disrespect for the toil and suffering they go through in the dirt of the land standing up for Hindus. The Office matters and the reality is that it has never worked in the interest of Hindus in Guyana.
 
Somdat Mahabir