In 1958 the Democratic Labour Party led by Bhadase Sagan Maraj won six of the ten seats in Federal Elections. In the 1959 County Council Elections respectively the DLP won 5 of the 11 County Councils.
In 1948 Bhadase founded the Caroni East Indian Association and was elected President; in 1950 he was elected a member of the Legislative Council and in 1952 he merged two Sanatanist bodies-Sanatan Dharma Board of Control and the Sanatan Dharma Association to form the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha and was elected President.
Who were the men and women that worked with Bhadase to bring forth such victories? When a movie wins best picture, it also wins several of the other awards. For example, The Godfather (1972) won Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Director. It was nominated for Best music, Best Editing, Best Sound and Best Costume Design.
Success depends heavily on the people who make up your team – family, friends and associates. Members of a team are usually individuals with unique skills and talents; not people hopping unto the bus for the ride. Most importantly, there must be respect and tolerance for differences among team members; and members should not be expected to be perfect. Members must also be allowed to be themselves and not clones of their leaders.
When Bhadase did his first pooja he chose a young Pandit Krishna from his village of Caroni to officiate. Pandit Krishna went on to become Dharmacharya of the Maha Sabha. When Pandit Krishna was later nominated for the Trinity Cross, he refused it on the ground that it did not reflect the religious and cultural diversity of the country. The Trinity Cross as the highest national award was challenged in the court by the Maha Sabha and other Islamic individuals and groups before it was replaced by the Order of Trinity.
Who were those individuals that Bhadase pulled together to form the Maha Sabha in 1952? They were men of standing not only in their respective communities but in the country. Among them were Simbhoonath Capildeo, a barrister, Chanka Maharaj, an elected Member of the Legislative Council, Rampersad Bolai, the owner of three estates in the Sangre Grande/Toco district, Jang Bahadoorsingh, a land developer, Ram Suratsingh and Ramoutar Singh, to name a few.
While other organizations lose their steam and die in 20 years, the Maha Sabha continues to be a force. The election of Sat Maharaj in 1977 to take the Maha Sabha forward proved to be a good choice. The strides that the Maha Sabha made under Sat Maharaj were phenomenal. Sat Maharaj had many young minds as his aides and advisors- Devant Maharaj, Primnath Gooptar, Pandit Bhadase Seetahal (Maharaj) and a lawyer in Anand Ramlogan.
In 1979 Sat Maharaj provided the venue and resources for the Indian Arrival Day Committee led by Ramdath Jagessar to commemorate Indian Arrival Day. This pioneering celebration expanded throughout the country and in 1995 Indian Arrival Day -May 30- was declared a public holiday.
In 1979 also, the Hindu Jawaan Sangh merged with the Maha Sabha to form the Maha Sabha’s Youth Arm. Three leaders of the Jawaan Sangh-Haripersad Harikissoon, Ramnarine Ramkissoon and Primnath Gooptar- were elected to the Executive of the Maha Sabha. Several projects of the Jawaan Sangh were now integrated into the calendar of activities of the Maha Sabha including Phagwa, Chowtal Samelan, Caribbean Cultural Exchange Tour and a Divali Song Festival.
Who were the men that Bhadase had in his team when he defeated Dr. Eric Williams in the Federal Elections of 1958? There were Pat Mathura-Caroni; Albert Gomes-St George East; Mohammed Shah- St Patrick; Ashford Sinanan-Victoria; Victor Bryan-Eastern Counties and and Roy Joseph- San Fernando.Naparima.
In 1959 the results of the County Council Elections were: DLP-33; PNM -34; Butler Party-2 and Independent-3. The DLP was declared winner of 5 of the 11 County Councils. It was a severe blow for Dr. Eric Williams and he reacted with hostility and vengence.
A few leaders want success but are afraid of taking anyone brighter than they. As soon as someone demonstrates some initiative he/she runs the risk of being fired. This attitude would not make a success of any institution but results in defeat in the short term.
With a leader at the helm and no inbuilt checks and balances, such a leader will certainly self-destruct. With emphasis on projecting a star boy and star girl image, such an insecure leader sees everyone as a threat. In this scenario truth is sacrificed and flattery becomes the modus operandi for survival.