Interestingly, Kamla Persad-Bisssessar – the new and first female elected Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobaggo has done a first of sorts. In a ceremony to swear her in, she took oath on Bhagwad Gita, the ancient Hindu scripture.
It is amazing and intriguing that a nation, where the Hindus were taken many centuries back, have been able to hold on to their culture and beliefs for so long. That has not been so even within India and Indians emigrating in the last 100 years to the Western countries. In India, specifically, in the last over 1000 years, the onslaught of Islam and Christianity, which used a combination of brutal force and money to convert and make religious inroads for mostly territorial gains – has changed the landscape. In addition to converting, the rulers which pushed Islam and Christianity also attempted to put Hinduism (and other offshoots) as inferior in the minds of its adherents. Such that people have been ashamed to even learn or follow their beliefs.
Nothing could be worse for the country and its basic foundational ethos. If Hinduism has to prosper and survive.. I believe it will do so in the homes of its diaspora, just like Kamla’s minds and homes. That is where the effort should be from the Hindu community to give it a new shape.. a shape that survives beyonds its many issues.
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