It is always the Minister who declares public holidays

Dear Editor,

As the person who has been advising the Minister of Public Security for the past three years on the dates to be declared as public holidays, I think I should be given an opportunity to comment on Kaieteur News article ‘Deepavali controversy: Majority of Guyanese boycott Govt. announced Diya lighting,’ published on October 19.

The calendar is made from information contained in the ‘100-year’ Patra, which is in Sanskritized Hindi and relates solely to India. The time is given in Ghanti and Pal which must first be converted to India time and then to Guyana time.

The calendars of all organizations for the following year are completed by September of the current year. The English versions of the Patras, which can be likened to the ‘Answer Books’ are available in January of each year. Our calendars for the past years have always been validated by these Patras, while those of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha have not; many of their dates are in disagreement.

Hindus generally are PPP supporters, and, as correctly mentioned in the article, the Dharmic Sabha is closely aligned to that party. The majority of Hindus, therefore, see the dates declared by the government as ‘APNU’ dates and will not be supportive.  But it is the function of the government, through the Minister of Public Security, to declare public holidays. Former Minister, M. Clement Rohee did it under a PPP government. The vast majority of Hindus do not know this. They see it as political interference.

Should Minister Ramjattan declare public holidays based on majority support or on authoritative textual correctness? Sound decisions are made on facts and evidence. The Dharmic Sabha has failed over the years to provide even a scintilla of evidence in support of its position. But it will prevail over other organizations since it has the support of the hierarchy of the PPP.

Only the PPP can bring an end to the controversy. But it thrives under such a situation. It uses the stage for political advantage. The minority who supported the 18th are also PPP supporters, but chose religion over politics.

Four centuries ago the vast majority of people believed in a geocentric system. But Galileo and a small group of astronomers put forward the idea of a heliocentric system. It was so controversial that the Church classified it as heresy. Today virtually every child knows that the earth orbits the sun.

Satyameva Jayate – Only Truth prevails in the end.

Yours faithfully,

Pt Ramdial Balbadar

President, Sanatan Vaidic Dharma Pandits’ Sabha

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