Wednesday, November 14, 2012

PM and cabinet sing bhajan to close Divali Nagar 2012

Dr Suruj Rambachan leads the cabinet to sing a Divali bhajan at Divali Nagar Monday night
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and some members of her cabinet sang a tribute to the Goddess Lakshmi Monday night on stage at Divali Nagar as the curtain closed on the annual pre-Divali event sponsored by the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC). Among the group were ministers Marlene Coudray and Christlyn Moore. 

They sang the well-known Divali bhajan, "Hey An Dhan Ki Maharani", led by local government minister Suruj Rambachan. (click here for more pictures from the PM at Divali Nagar)

Earlier in an address to thousands attending the closing night of the religious and cultural expo the prime minister spoke about the theme for 2012, which was Hanuman. She praised the NCIC for helping to keep Hindu culture alive in our multicultural country.

PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar: "A leader who is full of fear has already lost the battle" 
Persad-Bissessar said Hanuman was the equivalent of a minister of government who served with dedication and always made it a point to put God in front, which she said is a mantra that has guided her public life.

She said one lesson she has learned from Hanuman is to banish fear. 

“I want to assure you that as your Prime Minister, I will go about my duties without fear. I am not easily driven to be fearful. I might be cautious, as I need to be, but I am not afraid to treat with the challenges that confront this nation, its peoples and its principles,” Persad-Bissessar said.

"A leader who is full of fear has already lost the battle," she said as she pledged to never let fear get in the way of her service to the nation and her dedication to the people of Trinidad & Tobago. She said the question she asks every time she has to make an important decision is whether it benefits the people.

Read the PM's full speech: PM Kamla speaks of lessons for T&T from Hindu teachings

Persad-Bissessar commended the NCIC for embracing everyone in Trinidad & Tobago, even those who do not share Hindu values. She mentioned one of their guests, Opposition Leader Keith Rowley, who donned a kurta and attended the opening of the Nagar last Friday. He and members of his party have traditionally not attended such events.

The Prime Minister reminded the audience that in January when she visited India and was bestowed with the country's greatest honour she bowed to the President of India in an act of humility and respect, which she noted is common in Hindu culture. She said that act offended Rowley who publicly chastised her, saying it was an act of subservience.

Rowley said at the time, "I am a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and I take umbrage at my Prime Minister going to anybody's country and kissing any office holder's foot." He added, "Nobody sent the Prime Minister abroad to represent her religion or her race."

Persad-Bissessar said it is interesting that Rowley has changed and visited Divali Nagar. "Such is the power of light," she stated.

Divali Nagar was created in 1986 by the NCIC, which at the time was led by Hans Hanoomansingh. The first Divali event was held at Mid Centre Mall under the chairmanship of Dr Rampersad Parasram and included the current NCIC president Deokienanan Sharma.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai