HIGH Court Judge Frank Seepersad said the late secretary-general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha Satnarayan Maharaj will be remembered for his contributions to society and the educational opportunities he presented to the Hindu community as they are singular and needed to be celebrated.
Seepersad was speaking at the Marabella Presbyterian church yesterday morning.
Seepersad said citizens should not forget that 50 years ago, many of their forefathers and their children had limited educational opportunities. And it was Maharaj and his predecessor Bhadase Sagan Maharaj at the Maha Sabha who was responsible for the opening of dozens of primary schools and four Hindu secondary schools.
Seepersad reminded the audience that the last two president’s medal winners came from Lakshmi Girls.
“He was a vocal advocate for change. His fierce belief was that TT should be a free and ecumenical society. That was why he challenged the name of TT’s Highest award and we had a momentous change from the Trinity Cross to the Order of TT.
“His example of steadfast leadership in spite of the controversy that some of his statements generated, stands as an example for us all.”
Speaking on a different topic, Seepersad also told worshippers it is undeniable that the planet is in crisis.
He said there was a global food shortage as sea levels had risen and the days were getting hotter. Justice Seepersad said all citizens must be concerned about the environment.
“We cannot sit by and allow our environment to be subjected to destruction for short term rewards. When illegal quarrying takes place natural habitats are destroyed and this negatively impacts the wildlife, watercourses and the surrounding communities.”
He said that a quick glance at our present laws reveals a shocking truth that the penalties for environmental damage and destruction are minimal and hardly operate as a deterrent.
“Oil spills from boats kill marine life, pollute beaches and affect the livelihood of fishermen who have to support their families. Under the Oil pollution and Territorial Act, the penalty for the discharge of oil into our territorial waters is $10,000. This sum is insignificant when one considers the cost associated with the clean up an oil spill.”