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Analyst: SDMS has no political power base

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Political analyst Dr Indira Rampersad says Sat Maharaj and the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) do not command a political base as it is a religious organization. She also said Hindus were free to vote for whoever they liked.

She was commenting on the declaration by the secretary general of the organization Sat Maharaj that it will be freeing up the Hindu/SDMS votes.

Rampersad said yesterday “We have to remember that a day in politics is like a lifetime and two years are multiple lifetimes. So we have two years to go and in that time, everything said by Maharaj will more than likely be long forgotten and that impinges on the implications for the future and Persad-Bissessar.

“The Hindu vote does not belong to the SDMS. It is the largest body representing Hindus, but is a religious organization and has never been perceived so much as a political organization.

“It was not a question of freeing up votes because no one was obligated to vote in any particular way, members have voted for the PNM, UNC, COP, and a multiplicity of small parties and never committed themselves to any organization.”

She said Maharaj himself flirted with the PNM, his daughter, Vimala Tota-Maharaj was a senator with the UN, and the organisation was at one time with the COP.

Rampersad said there was a core separation between church, State and politics, however there were overlaps, but the church did not carry political bases and neither the SDMS.

The ministry should have been more sensitive—Sagewan-Alli

Political analyst Indera Sagewan-Alli, meanwhile, said the blame rested firmly at the feet of the Education Ministry that was totally insensitive to a country where even though there was some degree of tolerance, there was also a high degree of intolerance and intolerable practices among the varied religions and ethnic groupings.

She said that was the reality in T&T that cannot be hidden from a Government and a ministry especially one in education.

Sagewan-Alli said they should have been extremely sensitive to this reality and make a much better choice than to send a young girl wearing a hijab to a Hindu school which catapulted the entities into this situation.

She said the conversation should have been how to ensure equitable and transparent treatment of all people and their circumstances in T&T.

Sagewan-Alli said every individual in the country had the responsibility to decide who they wanted to put in Government with their voting finger.









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