Recently, in Trinidad a law called the Hindu Marriage Act from the British colonial era (created by the British, not Hindus) came into question which allows children from the age of 12 years to be married. This would be considered illegal and perverted in today’s society. Firstly, I want to say I am opposed to child marriage and I only condone marriage for those 18 years and older according to our modern laws. This issue was taken up heavily by the Archbishop of Trinidad for the Catholic Church who got involved in the matter, spreading the idea that this is a rampant Hindu problem that needs to be cleansed immediately. The media even showed images of child marriages in India as if it represented the Hindu population in Trinidad. Sat Maharaj, the President of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) came to the defense of the Hindu community clearly stating Hindus do not continue this act today. He also stated he wants Hindus to resolve it with the government and that the Archbishop should stay out of Hindu business. Hindus were quick to throw their own leader under the bus who should have made it clear he was against child marriages but, what these gullible Hindus never stopped to ask is, what are the ulterior motives for this attack on Sat Maharaj? Was it to clean up the law or was it a cleaning up of Hinduism?
The Hindu Marriage Act Was Colonial, Not Hindu
The attack on Sat Maharaj was a well-disguised attack on Hinduism as has been the case many times not just in Trinidad but, the Hindu community in the West Indies and Guyana as well, and here’s why. This was a colonial law, it was put there by the British who had all the political power at the time and if anyone should be questioned they should probably be calling up the Queen or the British Parliament and asking why they condoned this. This was also the case in an era when life expectancy was low around 30 years max. Most importantly what are the ulterior motives by the Archbishop Harris of the Catholic Church? Does he really share so much concern for the Hindu community? Or is this another way to expose Hinduism as “evil”, after all they have an army of missionaries who convert by demonizing Hinduism. This is the same Archbishop who blamed Trinidad’s first female Hindu Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar for the economic problems of black youths and called Hindus “idol worshippers.” Why shouldn’t we look upon this new attack with suspicion? Child Marriage or not, there were 700 abortions and 270 pregnancies for under 18 youths in Trinidad without Hinduism being involved. While Sat Maharaj is the President of the SDMS which oversees Hindu activities he has no religious title such as swami or pundit. Meanwhile, the Archbishop represents the voice of the Catholic Church, so from which platform is he speaking and on behalf of who? Unlike some sections of Christianity, the Catholic Church is very organized in the sense that nothing is done without permission from the Pope and every sermon around the world is the same every Sunday. We have to ask does the church condone this attack on Hindus? What about the Pope? Maybe we are only scraping the surface of these motives. Gullible Hindus have to envision the scenario, what if this Hindu Marriage Act was abolished? What about modern Hindus, would we have to right to be legally married without any kind of lawful act in place? We may find ourselves soon enough, struggling for equality again and fighting for equality if we are not careful in an environment proven hostile to Hinduism before. Let’s not forget this act was put there because Hindus weren’t allowed to marry legally under colonial rule. I mentioned this in a previous article before and it may come to fruition. They don’t want us to have a TV station far less get legally married.
We Need To Stop Backstabbing
I am surprised, even, at how quickly Hindus were willing to attack their own leaders. What are they trying to prove? We need to stop this nonsense of proving how un-racist or unbiased we are by using every opportunity to stab our leaders because there will be a day when there is no one to save us. Sat’s family has done countless things for us, his family built the first mud hut schools for Hindus, the SDMS got radio stations, they made sure Phagwa and Indian Arrival Day are celebrated and are always standing up for Hindu rights. Bhadase Sagan Maharaj is the reason why we have Hindu Colleges in Trinidad today teaching Hindi, scriptures and other forms of Sanskriti. How sad it is to see how quickly people on Facebook want him removed without wondering what Sat’s intentions meant. Can we Hindus jump into Christian theology and teach them? Do Hindus get involved every time the Catholic Church has a child molestation scandal?
Why Single Out Hindus?
Furthermore, there are other marriage acts on the table being called into question as Muslim and Shouter Baptist, so why the relentless attack on Hinduism? This is also Trinidad and Tobago, why are they showing images of child marriages in India as if this is the norm for us? When was the last time parents had some huge wedding or dragged their children to sign papers in a government office? And if other Trinidadians were attending such weddings and didn’t report it then they are criminal too. This is an absurdity to say the least. Child marriages happen all over the world not just in India but, in Africa and the Middle East. So why is this a Hindu-specific problem? And child marriage is not a phenomenon in Trinidad, it does not represent any of our groups whatsoever. Hindus are among the most educated people and contribute time and again to the prosperity of the nation. These are the things Sat Maharaj must have been thinking about when he answered that question with justified anger. Let Hindus sit with the government and resolve this issue and amend the act. Hindus do not need help knowing right from wrong because historically, that has always come with a price: abuse for us and ulterior motives designed at cutting down Hinduism like an axe. Hindus have had many wake up calls and close calls, and this is no different.
The Fall Out, Murder Of Hindus
A little while after this incident happened two Trinidadian Christians murdered a Hindu doctor named Ravi Maharaj in June 2016. They were motivated by the belief that he was an “Idol Worshipper” and “God doesn’t like that.” Imagine if this was a person from another community? There would be an uproar. So is it ok to commit crimes against Hindus? No, the reason crimes are mostly committed against us is because it is easy to do so. Hindus allow crimes to be committed against them because they would rather make a big fuss about a Hindu Leader’s comment than come out in numbers to protest this heinous hate crime against Hindus. Everyone is seeing us as easy prey. The famous and historic Temple by the Sea built by a Hindu World War veteran was looted and thrashed and the murtis (the statues) were smashed not too long ago. Hindus are creating their own sinking situation by not acting and always behaving passively. By the way I want to thank Justice For Hindus for posting this article. It was sent to newspapers in Trinidad and Guyana and they all refused to print it. What Justice!
A Fellow Trinidadian Hindu,
Vassan I. Ramracha