Attorney General Mohabir Anil Nandlall was given a very warm welcome by the Covid adhered capacity crowd at the Maharishi Dayananda Gurukula in Jamaica, New York at noon on Sunday, America’s independence day. He was given a standing ovation as he entered the mandir and garlanded by two youths. Although the mandir’s service normally ends before noon, the congregation waited to hear from the AG who spoke extemporaneously for almost half an hour. Then he was mobbed by worshippers for photos. IT WAS A FANTASTIC, MOST IMPRESSED PROGRAM, MUCH TALKED ABOUT BY THE HUGE AUDIENCE.
The AG was escorted to the front of the mandir by religious and Hindi/Sanskrit scholar Dr. Satish Prakash and introduced by community advocate and intellectual Dr. Tara Singh. As Dr. Singh commented, “Hon Nandlall received very enthusiastic applauses that were reminiscent of the type accorded to rock stars”.
Dr Singh said: “This day is also historic in the sense that two leaders in our community occupied one platform to greet one another and issue their felicitations. Dr Satish Prakash is one of the leading lights of Hinduism in the West, and Hon Anil Nandlall is considered one of the leading lights in the legal profession in the Caribbean” as was so eloquently stated in a commentary by Dr. Vishnu Bisram in this paper last week.
The audience paid rapt attention as the AG brought greetings from President Ali. He noted that the President led from the front in almost every area. He thanked the diaspora for the role they played in support the PPP’s election campaign and in combating the attempted election rigging.
Nandlall spoke in glowing terms of Guyana’s future, despite the setbacks of Covid-19 and the devastating floods. He lamented the loss of lives from Covid and the countless animals that perished from the flood waters.
The AG lamented that the high cost of electricity has been a major obstacle to manufacturing and industrialization. He stated that Guyanese are paying some five times higher rates per unit of electricity than Guyanese in America. He noted that high cost of electricity has been inflicting higher financial burden on home and commercial consumption. He said it is incomprehensible why did the coalition would scuttle the Amalia Falls project which would have brought down the cost of electricity. He stated that the PPP government is moving to quickly and significantly reduce energy costs.
The AG spelt out a menu of measures being undertaken by the Irfaan Ali led administration for advancement of the country. These include gas-to-shore project, online scholarships, construction of top-brand name hotels, flood relief, law reform, home ownership, etc.). He assured that economic benefits will go to all Guyanese, irrespective of race, gender, religion and region.
Nandlall also promises that “The PPPC government adheres to transparency and accountability. We respect the constitution and abide by the rule of law”. He said: “Never again, should we allow any political party to attempt to steal an election.” He stressed that Guyana’s democracy is fragile and he appealed to Guyanese in the diaspora “to constantly be vigilant to protect your democracy”.
The AG made a passionate plea for the diaspora to continue supporting their efforts in development. He also urged them to consider investing in the country.
At Dr Satish Prakash’s request, backed by popular congregational demand, the AG sang a popular Hindi bhajan. Many in the congregation lip sang with him. He received a loud applause. Several bhajans were sung in his honor. Much to the AG’s delight as he clapped along.
The AG’s remarks were interrupted several times by loud applause. He quoted from the Hindu scriptures without reading any books or notes. He related extremely well with the religious gathering. Almost everyone had their mobile phone out taking the AG as he spoke.
Following aartie, every member of the large congregation, in their traditional Indian attire, lined up to take pictures with him.
No doubt the gathering of the Gurukula was overjoyed by his presence. They were most impressed by the unprepared, extemporaneous speech of the AG. Dr. Singh commented that the Ag is a terrific speaker with impressive oratorical skills.
The leadership of the Gurukula and its members and attendees expressed their deep debt of gratitude to the AG for helping to guide Guyana on the visionary path to progress and prosperity.
The AG was given advanced notice of an invitation to attend the opening of the Guyana Gurukula at Uitvlugt later this year.