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Starting the change now

Saturday, June 23, 2018

I have seen where ‘we East Indians’ have been sucking the blood across the entire country according to some alleged social media posts. Whether or not these posts were put out by the persons whose profiles featured, it was quite clear that the posts were meant to stir the bile of all good and right thinking citizens.

Recently, a person posted for circulation on social media, a false picture purportedly showing a Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) institution hanging pictures of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education alongside officeholders of the SDMS itself. The theme of the post was to portray that whilst SDMS institutions were being funded by the Government, it was somehow discriminating against the said Government.

In recent times, the argument that denominational institutions were being funded by the State but were allowed to carry out its own practices, have been pitched again and again so as to attack the SDMS as being racist and/or discriminatory and/or unpatriotic. The latest incarnation or manifestation of this argument occurred when an ‘On the Job Trainee’ mysteriously reached the doorsteps of the SDMS and made some seriously unfounded claims as to the treatment meted out. I say no more at this point and time.

I should, of course, go the way I had chosen without paying much attention to these undertones, but being Sat Maharaj, as I am, exceedingly careful not to offend anyone, I wish to stand well, even with these forward-thinking persons. At the outset, let me say that I am not much moved by the one argument which is always urged against me: “Sat is a racist.” My conduct, as well as that of the SDMS, has proven again and again that such a proposition has absolutely no merit.

What history has already recorded and will prove in time to come and for all times, is that I have never cowered to speak on behalf of the East Indian Hindu community against injustice. For this, I will never make any apology. If I had to do it all over again, I would be more vocal and fight even harder.

At this point, I should add for the record that for those few persons who quickly take to social media to post that I don’t speak on behalf of them, the fact is, I don’t! They ought not to worry about that. I recall when I came out and spoke against former prime minister Patrick Manning, the present Prime Minister, Dr Rowley, was immediately quoted by the media (T&T Guardian—July 15, 2016) as saying that “I respect Mr Maharaj’s attempt to defend what he thinks he is defending but I will defend the country’s record, especially when I was a part of that record.”

The ‘record’ will show that the Privy Council considered the same lame old arguments of Rowley and the PNM, again and again, in one form or the other and spat them out for exactly what they were. Whilst Rowley and the PNM may now be attempting to sanitise their own records, ‘international records’ will show that the facts surrounding inter alia Feroza Ramjohn, Public Service discrimination and the refusal to grant licences to TV and Radio Jaagriti were considered by the best law lords in the world. After heavy legal battles, their ruling pointed to discrimination by the PNM Government towards the people of this nation.

Moving along, I am comforted by the fact that when my time comes and I am no longer, there are already many persons ready to take up the mantle of speaking out against inequities, racism, nepotism etc. Last week I wrote about Baal Vikaas Vihaar, a by-product of the SDMS and its successes. This is the strength of the SDMS. It illustrates the difference between a man and an institution.

The SDMS was incorporated for the use and not at all for the worship of man. It has committed to no fetish, for to do so would be simply to become slaves of our own machinery. It is grounded in promoting ‘dharma’ for its people, something which I have done and will continue to do.

I, therefore, urge all critics of the SDMS and myself to try and find your own ‘code of truth’ instead of following the shouting crowd. Notice I did not say follow ‘my truth’ or the way of the SDMS. You may if you so desire but there is no attempt at conversion. Then, only then, will you begin to appreciate some of the things and ways which we do and follow.


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