|HE Malay Mishra|
I therefore wish to clear the air.
My remarks on the “so-called” priests and pundits was aimed at a certain category of priests and pundits who, in my view, having a superficial understanding of what Hinduism stands for, take only to rituals to secure their own future, much less to advance the cause of the religion.
This was a generic observation made in the context of drawing the relevance of Swami Vivekananda’s message and teachings of Vedanta to contemporary society as the High Commission was embarking on commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of the Swami.
The fact that the organising committee of the celebrations was chaired by a pundit (Dr Rampersad Parasram) and an able, articulate one at that, would vouch for my profound respect for priests and pundits who speak for the universality of and all-embracing nature of Hinduism, key hallmarks of the religion.
Furthermore, I wish to make it clear I have never meant to denigrate the role of rituals which form an integral part of any religion, along with its philosophy and mythologies.
In bringing out those observations, I had only expressed the views of certain sections of the intelligentsia as well as the younger generation who have come to hold a negative image and whose doubts and questions need to be addressed.
I am aware of the role played by the pundits and priests over time, not only in T&T but in other parts of the Hindu Diaspora as well. However, having consolidated its strength, in present times, there is need for the younger generation of Hindus to understand the rational and scientific validation of Hinduism which derives directly from Vedanta.
The activities marking the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda commemorated in T&T with the support of several socio-cultural organisations, individuals and well wishers, cutting across the population, have been a welcome development and we intend to continue through that during the course of the year and beyond.
Malay Mishra | India High Commissioner