Satya Drishti of Lower Barrackpore, south Trinidad, will be staging an episode of the Ramayan at the SAPA – Southern Academy for the Performing Arts on August 20. The play is directed by Ramcharan Motilal, the president of Satya Drishti who is also a teacher. I have had the pleasure of working with Ramcharan and must say that he is a model Hindu worker, that is, being able to initiate projects in his neighborhood of Barrackpore to meet the needs of the community.
Three years ago, Ramcharan and a few members joined with other Hindu activists to start the Hindu Parivar Credit Union. The bitter experiences with the past Hindu Credit Union were not an obstacle to stop him but a challenge to overcome. Too many have burdened themselves with the failures of a few and have been using that as an excuse to sit on their haunches. Ramcharran, however, has a philosophy of hard work and surmounting obstacles to bring forth positive results.
For over a decade the Satya Drishti has been conducting an active Shakha or weekly gathering of youths while in other districts similar programs have collapsed. Why do individuals like Ramcharan succeed while others have failed? The fundamental reason is that he is focused on the task before him. Ramcharan and the members of the Satya Drishti have never failed to have a national vision, but their roots are planted in Barrackpore.
Another ingredient for success is teamwork. While Ramcharran is the leader, he follows the policy of first among equals. I have never heard him in his interaction with fellow activists raising his voice and pontificating as though he is the embodiment of dharma. His humility and sincerity have made him a trusted and reliable leader whom the other members of Satya Drishti are proud to work with to promote the values of Sanatan Dharma.
Another worker I want to acknowledge is Wayne Lalchan. A man of few words, Wayne Lalchan has taken the initiative to reconstruct the Bamboo Grove No.1 Mandir along with an educational center. Again, his strength, like Ramcharan’s, is teamwork and winning the trust of the community. Today the Bamboo Grove No.1 Mandir in Valsayn is one of the more active centers for promoting Sanatan Dharma.
I am of the view that the more fundamental reason why Ramcharan and Wayne are success stories is because they cannot play the harmonium and sing a bhajan or chant mantras and chowpais and dohas from the Ramayan or verses from the Bhagavad Gita. It is my conviction that those Hindus who have an inkling of those skills, have arrogated unto themselves a way of conduct that put them above the drudgery of hard work.
It appears that a knowledge of the scriptures and the chanting of a chowpai has given these individuals a persona akin to those asuras who after the worshipping of Lord Bramha and being granted special boons allowed their arrogance to grow, thus becoming a menace to the society that they set out to serve. They shout at the top of their voices ‘Gyaan Sheel Ekata, Hindu Ki Visheshta’ when in reality they work to undermine fellow workers and their organizations. The objective is to be ‘monarch of all that I surveyed’ but that ambition would always delude them because they surround themselves with a band of sycophants to carry out their biddings.
Knowledge is good but more importantly is character. This has been the teaching of the great gurus. Speaking the truth is central to human development. In fact, the scriptures say that truth is God. May be the Hindu community should go less on pontificating from the singhasan and focus more on doing work in the community as Ramcharan and Wayne have been demonstrating in their communities of Barrackpore and Bamboo Grove Settlement No 1, Valsayn respectively.