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No apology on SDMS stand

Published: 
Saturday, June 2, 2018

Last Wednesday, all celebrations (observed during the month of May) climaxed as our country celebrated Indian Arrival Day. However, 173 years after the East Indians arrived in Trinidad, we still have a situation where one of the mainstream media houses carried no print coverage of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha’s Indian Arrival Day celebrations held in Debe.

One would have thought that having regard to the events which occurred over the past couple of weeks and the fact that there were calls for boycott of Maha Sabha’s celebrations, that the media house would have been interested in properly reporting that over 5,000 persons attended and celebrated at Parvati Girls Hindu College and Debe recreation ground in Debe.

The SDMS is an organisation which subscribes to the tenets of Sanatan Dharma, an eternal truth of how mankind attains oneness with the Supreme Lord. Dharma can be simply described as everything which is aimed at assisting man to get back to God. It is also the ultimate truth about all of the Lord’s creation and the Lord Himself/Herself (Purush & Prakriti). The way of Dharma is the way of God!

As Sanatanist Hindus, we subscribe to the teachings of our Hindu Scriptures, the traditions (parampara) and culture of our ancestors. These are all part of Sanatan Dharma. We are all guided by our Dharma but we respect the right of others to be different.

When our forefathers came from India, they did not bring Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi CDs or 8-track cassettes or records or turn-tables to listen to music. Gathering in large numbers to sing film songs was never a part of East Indian culture. I am happy for those who chose to mimic Bollywood in their celebratory activity, but that does not connect with the way our ancestors performed in their ‘kootiahs,’ (mud temples).

We must also understand the difference between standing up for a cause and merely politicking for a cause! In Sanatan Dharma, standing for a just cause is considered to be the ultimate act of practicing the highest Yoga. I was heartened when I recently saw a young pundit post on social media, “Words of an ancient ‘parampara,’ ‘Dharma Rakshiti Rakshitaha’ that guides us today and will continue to guide future generations.” Essentially this means ‘Dharma protects those who protect Dharma’.

A certain class of mind shrinks from fighting for one’s people as they believe themselves to be refined in their own nature, sipping various spirits in the confines of their homes. The temperament of these forward thinking persons forbid them to identify with the struggle from whence they came and they look on, all the while commenting at great length on social media upon what they cannot understand.

These same persons have no issue about singing, dancing and drinking into a state of stupor at Skinner Park whilst listening to tunes of drinking rum till they die. Some of these persons have no issue about blindly following politicians in the absence of truth and at great risk of damaging their own countrymen.

You see, for those who would easily cast aside the SDMS as governed by archaic methods and staffed by dinosaurs, the Bhagwad Gita is my best answer for them. We will not shrink from battle and we should not refuse to speak out and fight (if necessary) for a just cause as though it is a sign of lowering morality or out of fear for perceived backward thinking by a few social media freaks. Love, peace and refraining from open speech on an individual level has a place in the local politics. But the love of country and for countrymen, in the face of injustice, trumps that individual love and peace.

To simply view the SDMS’ actions as that of archaic is to say to a man who is being slowly murdered, that he is not justified in striking at his murderer. I am confident that the SDMS’ actions would not be seen by right thinking members of our society as an act of aggression, hate or racism. Far from, it will be seen as acts of self-defence for the sake of respect and self-preservation of the way of life which our forefathers left behind for us.

Lord Krishna says to Arjuna in the Bhagwad Gita (Hindu holy text) that he must not hesitate to fight injustice. To maintain justice and prevent the politically strong from despoiling and the weak from being oppressed is exactly what the SDMS intends to do. We will fight as civilised as we can but fight we will! We make no apologies for this.

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