Hindus worldwide have applauded Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar for reportedly spending her 60th birthday in a Hindu prayer (pooja) ceremony outside San Fernando, thanking the almighty.
According to reports, a pandit (Hindu priest) performed the prayers invoking Hindu gods Ganesh, Durga and Hanuman, while Persad-Bissessar, with family on her side, listened to him with a devotedly bowed head wearing a bright sari on her birthday April 22. Some other government ministers also attended.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended Persad-Bissessar for spending her birthday in prayers instead of partying, thus setting a good example. He also praised her for keeping the heritage, religion, spirituality and culture alive.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.
Named by Time magazine as one of the top world female leaders and by Glamour magazine as Woman of the Year and first female Prime Minister of this island nation, Persad-Bissessar took Oath of Office on ancient Hindu scripture Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord) in 2010.
First indentured laborers from India to Trinidad reportedly arrived on May 30, 1845 (May 30 is now an official public holiday) and during 1845-1917, over 140,000 Indians were transported here, who brought with them a new culture. El Dorado Shiv Mandir in the country is in its 100th year. A $14-million one-of-a-kind Hindu temple and community center, Lakshmi-Narayan Hindu Temple, has been reportedly planned for Freeport.
Said to be settled at least 7,000 years ago, this dual-island nation in southern Caribbean, heavily influenced by petroleum industry, is known for Carnival, mesmerizing beaches and calypso music. George Maxwell Richards is the President of Trinidad and Tobago, one of the wealthiest nations in the Caribbean.