Pundit moves to force Maha Sabha leadership election

Attorney Gerald Ramdeen, centre, and pundit Bhadase Seetahal-Maraj, right front, with other SDMS members, during the media conference held at the Devi Mandir, Vyas Complex Charlieville Road, Chaguanas on Saturday. - Photo by Ria Chaitram
Attorney Gerald Ramdeen, centre, and pundit Bhadase Seetahal-Maraj, right front, with other SDMS members, during the media conference held at the Devi Mandir, Vyas Complex Charlieville Road, Chaguanas on Saturday. - Photo by Ria Chaitram

SOME members of the Sanatan Dharma Maha-Sabha (SDMS), one of the largest Hindu groups in the country, are calling for its internal elections to be held in the shortest time and threatened to take the matter to court if their request is ignored.

One pundit has already initiated legal action seeking to remove the secretary-general and the president-general from office.

In a pre-action protocol letter pundit Bhadase Seetahal-Maraj sent to Vijay Maharaj, son of Maha Sabha former secretary-general Satnarayan Maharaj who died in November 2019, and Krishna Rambally, he is challenging their authority to hold office as secretary-general and president-general, respectively.

On Saturday the group led by Seetahal-Maraj, and attorney Gerald Ramdeen, held a media conference at the Devi Mandir, Vyas Complex, Charlieville Road in Chaguanas, to speak about the intended court action.

According to the legal letter, Seetahal-Maraj called on the Maha Sabha to schedule elections for the two top posts with 14 days of face court action.

Ramdeen claimed Maharaj and Rambally have been in the executive posts since 2019 in breach of the Maha Sabha's constitution.

The Maha Sabha's constitution, Ramdeen said, made it clear how succession would be transferred and the excuse of a pandemic to withhold members rights was unsubstantiated.

“We have had general elections in this country, we have had THA elections during covid19, we have had by-elections and Maharaj and Rambally are telling the membership there cannot be any election because of covid19. We are not prepared to go along with that. It is a poor excuse.”

“There can be no excuse for holding on to power in an institution that is charged with the responsibility with the religious future of almost 400,000 citizens, members of the SDMS and the children who attend its schools.”

He called on its members to ensure the institution remained democratic and adhered to the rule of law.

“This journey is about democracy in the SDMS, accountability, transparency and responsibility. These are things that we want to ensure remain in the SDMS.

Seetahal-Maraj said the challenge by the group was to restore the SDMS’ integrity.

“Violation of these principles is the pathway to inevitable loss of trust and eventual disappearance of the SDMS.

“The ability to consolidate resources – human, financial, knowledge, etc – wherever they exist and channel these resources appropriately will result in significant benefits to the organisation and the country.”

He said the SDMS has to recalibrate the transmission of its values system and be held accountable for the role it played in the community.

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"Pundit moves to force Maha Sabha leadership election"

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