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Religious leaders are supposed to courageously speak out against discrimination, inequity, and fraud. Why are they silent?
Hindu business owners, in particular contractors, are complaining about their reduction in government contracts. They are very upset with their party, political representatives, religious leaders, community stalwarts, and leading media personnel. They claim that a religious group constituting some 10% of the Indian population manages to get a lopsided 80% of government contracts. They say this is a complete reversal under the coalition during whose tenure there was a semblance of balance in the awarding of government contracts in terms of religious denominations.
In spite of the ongoing protestations from Hindu contractors and business persons, letters in the press, comments in social media, comments at temples, man in the street conversations, and appeals to the Vice President and PPP leaders, not a word has been uttered by the Hindu politicians and leaders to redress this grievance. There is not a statement from the Vice President, the AG, the Minister of Social Security and other Ministers, and Members of Parliament, not a single pandit or pandita or head of a Hindu organization, or a Swami, or a frequent letter writer, or a columnist to look into the complaint or condemn bias in the awarding of contracts. Are they numb to the feelings of the community? Have they foreseen defeat in 2025 and decided to make their financial heights rather than upset friends in government?
Where are the voices of Dr. Vindya Persaud, Anil Nandlall, Dr. Frank Anthony, Nigel Dharamlall, Indar Deodat, Sonia Parag, Charles Ramson, Anand Persaud, Vishwa Mahadeo, Ganesh Mahipaul, Khemraj Ramjattan, Dinesh Jaiprashad, among other Members of Parliament, stalwarts like Ravi Dev, Swami Aksharnanda, Freddie Kissoon, Vishnu Bisram, and Chris Ram, and religious figures like Pandit Yog Mahadeo, Pandit Harish, Pandit Ravi, Pandit Vikash, Pandit Balbidar, Pandit Vishnu Panday, Pandit Dinesh, Pandit Lilah, Pandit Surendra, and other prominent Hindus?
Kaieteur News is called out and saluted for publishing comments of discrimination in the awarding of contracts. Stabroek News carried a few complaints as well. Another newspaper owned by a Hindu who is very close to the government and gets a lot of government contracts has not carried any critiques of the government much less on religious discrimination of the awarding of contracts.
The Dharmic Sabha is the largest Hindu organization in the country. It is the most vibrant organization of Hindus. It has been silent. It would be recalled that a few years ago, political leadership of a party encouraged some prominent Hindus and Pandits to break away from Dharmic Sabha and form the Viraat Sabha so as to weaken the President of the former; it became tied to coalition politicians. This faction was engineered to destroy the Dharmic Sabha; they failed in the mission. Dharmic Sabha is still the voice of Hindus especially when the other organizations have lost their voice on the injustice that has been taking place against Hindus. Isn’t it past time for a statement to be made by the Dharmic Sabha on contracts injustice? Can’t the leaders of the Dharmic and Viraat Sabhas and other Hindu organizations issue a joint statement on the disproportionate and unfair treatment of the largest segment of the PPP support base?
Let’s also not forget that the majority of former and current sugar workers are of Hindu background and are being ill-treated by the party they voted. Thousands of Hindus have not been re-hired by Guysuco in spite of several promises by the Vice President and the ruling party. No statement has been made by Hindu leaders condemning the closure of the sugar estates and the failure of the current administration to re-open them. Where are so called Hindu leaders in defense of the sugar workers?
Is the personal security and gratification of some Hindu leaders so important that they cannot even make a simple statement in support of their dedicated and devoted Hindu followers? What level of selfishness and self-serving behavior that are we witnessing in this country! Do the scriptures say be silent in the face of injustice?