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Sat throws Hinduism backwards
The position taken by the Maha Sabha to deny Nafisah Nakhid the opportunity to take up duties as an On-The-Job (OJT) teacher at Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College in St Augustine because of her hijab is unfortunate. The Maha Sabha holds the view that the school dress code would be violated. The Maha Sabha, which has rang the discrimination bell on the grounds of religion on numerous occasions over the years, now appears to have no sympathy or religious tolerance.
In the past, Hindus were the target of various forms of religious discrimination but that should not be an excuse for Hindus to discriminate against others. Only recently, the Hindu and Indian community observed the naked discrimination in the allocation of HDC houses in Real Springs, Valsayn, and the firing of Indians and Hindu lecturers at the University of T&T. To now carry out this act of denial to a young Muslim girl wishing only to learn how to teach is simply not acceptable in modern T&T.
The leadership of the Maha Sabha continues to be religious and social dinosaurs holding on to old prejudices and wishing to settle scores against others who no longer exist. The young Hindu is not attracted to this prehistoric thinking and wishes to distance themselves from it. Recently, young Hindus had to explain to friends and co-workers that they do not share support for child marriages as advocated by the Maha Sabha.
Thankfully in T&T, the Maha Sabha is not the only organization representing Hindus however, due to the institutional network of schools, mandirs, and media, the Maha Sabha will always command attention. If the Hindu community wishes to have views and expressions that are in line with a modern, progressive Hinduism then they have to effect that change themselves. Pundits, teachers, and other members of the Maha Sabha are too coward to have independent thought from the leadership, but it is time that they start becoming a little brave.
It is sad that in Indian Heritage Month, where we reflect on our Hindu, Muslim, and Christian indentured ancestors, that a Hindu leader would seek to discriminate against a Muslim.
I wish to inform the national community that the Maha Sabha does not represent all Hindus and the leadership of the Maha Sabha is not only a throwback to a bygone era, but a source of never-ending shame and embarrassment for a large cross section of the Hindu community.
No longer are we jahji bhai. Discrimination by any group is just wrong! This has the makings of a religious war, further dividing our already fragile society.
Pt Satyanand Maharaj
Satya Anand Ashram
Temple of Truth and Bliss Aranguez
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