Pundit: SDMS media ban insults Sat's legacy

Monday, November 18, 2019 - 08:45

One pundit is condemning the move by the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) to prevent media coverage of the funeral services for the late Secretary-General of the organisation, Satnarayan “Sat” Maharaj.

According to Pundit Satyanand Maharaj, such a move is an insult to the legacy of Mr Maharaj, who was a national personality.

In an official statement released today, Pundit Maharaj describes as “regressive” the move by the new SDMS administration.

The full text of the release, follows…

“ Ironically, the media is to be banned from covering the funeral of the late Secretary-General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha Sat Maharaj, who was a media man himself. Sat was Managing Director of Radio/TV Jaagriti, publisher of the Bomb newspaper, and a columnist always stood up and fought for not only freedom of speech and the press.  Indeed most of Sat's SDMS stewardship involved courting the media not only to cover the many SDMS events but also his national pronouncements.

The decision to ban the media from the funeral is indicative that there is no appreciation for the fact that Sat was a national personality and not merely a Hindu bossman. The media's interest in the funeral proceedings is not only reflective of this but also a testimony to the success of Sat's struggle to have Hindu Trinidad accepted as an integral and essential part of the fabric of Trinidad and Tobago. I shudder to think that the media ban was done to merely funnel a ready-made audience to Radio/TV Jaagriti.

It is disturbing that one of the first acts of the new regime in the Maha Sabha is this regressive position of banning the entire media from the funeral. The rationale that a single reporter who attempted to get a scoop by covering the wake resulted in the whole media fraternity being banned from the funeral lacks proportionality.

I recall that Sat had specifically not invited the then Prime Minister to Puja 2000, but when Patrick Manning did show at the Debe event, Sat rolled out the red carpet for the uninvited guest. This example of Sat's appreciation of the situation appears to be lost on the inexperienced hands at the wheel of the SDMS.

While no one has ever accused Sat of being cultured or classy he appears to be shoulders above his successor. ”



Story by NEWS DESK