Oct 05, 2022 Letters
Attention is drawn to a public announcement of a Diwali night fete by A1 Nightclub purportedly co sponsored by Banks DIH which has publicly dissociated itself from the event stating its name was used without permission. Mr. Ramesh Dookhoo of Banks DIH says the company would in no way be connected with such an activity. The company director also added that it is respectful of all faiths and religious organizations. He also notes that the company’s shareholders are of all religious denominations and respect peoples’ faiths and religious practices.
This concert is sacrilegious and hurts the sentiments of Hindus and other decent minded people and should be canceled. Banks DIH states that it does not engage in or support activities sensitive to or disrespectful of religions or other activities. We applaud Banks DIH position on the fete. Organizations and businesses should not use religious events to promote certain events.
Diwali, popularly known as the Festival of Light, in one of the most sacred occasions on the Hindu Calendar. Many non-Hindus also partake in the celebration and its religious observance.
Diwali symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. Performatively, Hindus welcome the Divine Mother Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu and the bestower of wealth and prosperity into their homes on Divali night to pay obeisance to Her through Puja. Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles is also worshipped on Divali night. During this period, Hindus fast and avoid liquor and flesh and fetes. It is a very auspicious occasion not different from any observed by Muslims and Christians.
Would they stage a fete on Eid or Good Friday? Why would the organizers of this fete want to desecrate the Hindu festival and disrespect those who observe it? Non-Hindu friends historically tend to join Hindus during this festival taking in the beautifully illuminated lights and traditional lamps as well as feast on sumptuous vegetarian dishes including an assortment of delicious sweets. Fetes were historically avoided by non-Hindus out of respect for the large Hindu community. These facts are well-known to all Guyanese.
As such, we, the undersigned, hold that it is not only sacrilegious but an insult to all Hindus and others who observe Diwali that the A1 Nightclub and Recreation Center in Soesdyke EBD would blatantly advertise a “Divali Night Lime” and announcing a “Banks Happy Hour” without consulting the company. In our multi-religious society, such activities can only be interpreted as a form of disrespect and violence against Hindus. How could the organizers be so insensitive to Hindus and display such contempt and disrespect for the Hindu community? Nothing short of an apology is warranted.
We demand that this disrespectful activity be called off at once and that the Nightclub issue an apology to the Hindu Community of Guyana. Failing that, we urge the public to boycott the event. Mr. Ramesh Dookhoo of Banks DIH says his company has distanced itself from the event.
We also place and urge other organizations and individuals to desist in using the name of this sacred Festival or Parb for reasons other than its intended Dharmic purposes.
Dr. Vishnu Bisram, Dr. Baytoram Ramharack, Pandita Dr. Indrani Rampersad, Dr. Somdat Mahabir, Dr. Ramesh Gampat, Dr. Dhanpaul Narine, Anita Ramharack, Dr. Kumar Mahabir, Hanoman Doolarchand, Ravi Dev, Nalini Mahabir, Nanda Sahadeo, Swami Aksharananda, Veda Nath Mohabir, Balram Rambrich, Parbatie Bisram, Ashook Ramsaran, Jai Lall, Ram Sahadeo, and many more.
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