New York-born Mark Ramdeen with roots in Trinidad was in Trinidad over the weekend to forge unity among the Hindus in the Caribbean diaspora. Visiting Suriname, Ramdeen was impressed by the high level of unity among the Hindus. Leading this work in Suriname was the youthful President of the Maha Sabha of Suriname, Pandit Nitin Jagbandhan.
The delegation led by Mark Ramdeen and Pandit Nitin Jagbandhan met with Dharmacharya Rampersad Parasram of the Maha Sabha, Raviji of the Hindu Prachaar Kendra, Swami Prakashananda of the Chinmaya Mission of Trinidad and Tobago, Ramesh Persad Maharaj of the Dattatreya Center, Wayne Lachan of the Bamboo No. 1 Mandir, Pandit Bhadase Seetahal-Maharaj of the Keshav Dass Mandir of Balmain, Pandit Amar Seepersad of the Amarjyothi Sabha of Cunupia and Surujdeo Mangaroo, Vice-President of the NCIC.
Visiting the Bamboo No 1 Mandir as special guests, the delegates were happy to meet and interact with Pandit Navin Maharaj, the newly elected leader of the Pandits’ Parishad of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha. Also visiting Trinidad to work with this dream of Ramdeen was New York-based Dr. Vishnu Bisram. Born in Guyana, Dr Vishnu is in close contact with the diaspora through his many trips. He is also a co-founder of ICDN.Today, a digital newspaper covering events in the diaspora.
Mark Ramdeen expressed alarm with the declining number of Hindus caused by rapid conversion to other faiths. Pandit Bhadase Seetahal-Maharaj said the new census (yet to be released) places the number of Hindus at 12 % from a high of 22%. Ramdeen is optimistic that if Hindu leaders stand on a platform of unity, the community would be able to regain lost grounds.
On Sunday afternoon Mark Ramdeen hosted a grand cultural event with speeches, entertainment, and dinner. Bringing greetings were Surujdeo Mangaroo, Swami Prakashananda and Pandit Amar Seepersad. Also speaking were Mark Ramdeen and Pandit Nitin Jagbhandhan.
Several musicians, vocalists and dancers entertained the audience including Sangeeta Jagdeo and Rukminee Holass-Beepath. The guests were served a sumptuous Indian cuisine prepared and served by Passage to Asia.