Saturday, November 2, 2013


Reproduced unedited from NEWSDAY
PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar at Divali Nagar Friday. (Newsday photo)
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last night urged young people of Trinidad and Tobago to remember the words of Mahatma Gandhi who looked to the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad Gita, as a prime source of inspiration.

In her address at the closing ceremony of the 27th annual Divali Nagar, Charlieville, Chaguanas ahead of today’s national holiday, the Prime Minister quoted the great Mahatma:

“When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day.”

She urged young people to use the wisdom of their religions as they pursue the demands of daily life. The Government, she added, was ensuring that young people have the tools to succeed through education, but the inspiration for achieving the true purpose in life is a choice they must make.

Quoting a verse from the Ramayana, she noted even “as we face challenges and hardships, God was there to protect us against evildoers.”

She described it as a verse that has always given her solace.

“As Prime Minister, it has often prompted me to consider my purpose, my mission, my work and my methods. It has given me the encouragement to make even difficult decisions. It is my support when I must weigh all interests in order to deliver what is best for our country. It is my guide in navigating the sometimes volatile path of leadership.”

The Prime Minister said sometimes we face battles “where we are swimming against the tide of norm and convention, but our purpose may be to cause a change of thinking.”

In reinforcing her commitment as Prime Minister, she vowed to protect the rights of freedom over restriction, to uphold the sanctity of family and entitlement to safety and to preserve the principles of social justice and equity.

“Our young people of today are born in a world of incredible advancement; of technology that puts them at the centre of any information they want, and makes them as knowledgeable and competitive as any child, anywhere in the world. But that comes with responsibility.”

Young people, she said have a responsibility to ensure that the benefits they each have, is made equally accessible to those who don’t have. They have a responsibility to use their own knowledge and information-driven imagination, to conceptualise an even better life for tomorrow.

“With those responsibilities come simple but relevant guidance. Never allow technology to obscure the value of humanity. Never allow advancement to cause you to forget the spiritual foundations of the lives that you are building upon. And never allow knowledge to eclipse the need for kindness, compassion, caring and standing united with your family, your friends and your nation. Even as I encourage you to aspire to the highest ideals and practice the best human values, the greatest of human action will always and must always be grounded in morality and compassion.”

Persad-Bissessar congratulated the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) on its 27th anniversary and for making Divali Nagar a premier event on the Hindu calendar.

“As we celebrate Divali, let us stand together against all forms of darkness, and bring light to our nation through our thoughts, our words and our work. May Mother Lakshmi reach into all of your hearts and your homes, with the gifts of peace and prosperity. And with these gifts, may you know harmony, may you know strength and may you know happiness.”

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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