President Donald Ramotar has lauded the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha for continuing the work of its late founder, Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud and for renaming its Sanskritik Kendra in his honour.
Ramotar was joined by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds at the Sabha’s Prashad Nagar location for its recent Kala Utsav. According to a report from the Government Information Agency (GINA) the ceremony saw youth from the arms of the organisation competing in various art-forms for trophies, certificates and prizes.
The late pandit built the Sabha during a period of great political turmoil just after the 1973 elections.
“Pandit Persaud chose to stand up and be a part of the struggles,” the president said.
“He was a very tolerant man; he pursued tolerance and preached tolerance whilst he preached religious freedom and religious practices. He also preached tolerance of other religions and that is why he went right across-the-board, and everyone could have identified with him and could have loved him.” Ramotar hoped that the Sabha would continue Persaud’s position of being an alliance and voice for justice and the poor in society.
In his address, the prime minister recalled the pandit as an astute parliamentarian. He also commended the renaming of the Kendra and wished it continued success.
The Sabha’s president, Dr Vindhya Persaud, the daughter of the late pandit, noted that the event was bittersweet.
“It is a moment of immense pride for us. It is also a sad moment because this is the first Utsav that Pandit Ji would not be here,” she said. Dr Persaud also added that she had no doubt that wherever the late Pandit’s heart lays he would be at peace with the Sabha’s plans to continue the traditions he believed in right in the building he founded.
“I have no doubt that his blessings would be on each and every one of us,” she said.
Pandit Persaud died last year at age 77.