EXCERPTS FROM SPEECHES MADE ON THAT OCCASION

 

Dr. the Hon. Navin Ramgoolam, Prime Minister

 

I congratulate Yogi Rummun for his immense contributions in the field of social work, education and culture and his unflinching dedication for the Hinduism Movement...........

Today, it is a matter of pride that Hinduism has received due recognition. It is a subject of studies at the secondary and tertiary levels. At the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, it is taught at the Diploma Course level. At the University Level, an Honours Degree in philosophy is being contemplated.

Under the inspired guidance of Yogi Rummun, seminars on Yoga and Indian philosophy have now become a regular feature. I have to pay tribute to late Sir Kher Jagatsing who also gave his unflinching support to this Movement to introduce Hinduism as a subject of study, after taking up this issue with the Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. It is therefore fitting that the Hinduism Movement has decided to offer a "Sir Kher Jagatsing Memorial Prize" for the essay competition on Hinduism and Society........

After 20 years of the existence of the Hinduism Movement and its continuous support to the cause of Hinduism, it is a sign of encouragement to find the disciplined and progressive attitude of our youths. There is an increasing number of students today opting Hinduism for their studies ¾ 16% at S.C. and 20% at H.S.C. Level.

The publication of Arunodaya since 1991 enables us to keep a record of the best essays, speeches and poems of the participants of the Hinduism competition. The Gita recitations, the Ramayana chanting and elocution contests enable enthusiastic students and lovers of Indian Culture to develop their hidden talents. The practice of Hinduism in Mauritius contributes significantly to making our society one of peace, tolerance and enduring values. It is also important that the Hinduism Movement gives a new dimension to the meaning of the rituals and prayers to meet the challenge of the third Millennium ...........

Shri A. Gopinathan, Ag. High Commissioner of India

For more than two decades Shri Yogi Rummun has been engaged in spreading the awareness of Hinduism among the tremendous youth of Mauritius. We consider this to be particularly important not merely because the values of Hinduism and Hindu philosophy are eternal but more especially because these are sought to be inculcated among the youth and particularly among the school going children in their formative years so that when they grow up they not only have the right sense of values but also they become better equipped to face the challenges of the future.

Shri Yogi Rummun and the Hinduism Movement have been conducting seminars, workshops and competitions. They have been issuing publications like the Arunodaya regularly and from last year we understand that they have added two new events in their activities, namely the Shraddhanjali and the Antavas which is a throwback to the traditions of the Gurushishya Parampara when the disciples used to live with the gurus in their ashrams.

Once again we are all impressed by the high turn-out of the students at the functions and the enthusiasm and the spirit with which students have been participating in these celebrations. It is an eloquent testimony to the success which Shri Yogi Rummun and the Hinduism Movement have achieved over the past two decades of selfless and untiring service.

Hon. James Burty David, Minister Of Education, Science & Techn.

I wish to place on record the praiseworthy effort of Yogi Rummun in pioneering the introduction of the teaching of Hinduism in our Secondary Schools. As you know it is the policy of Government while keeping the secular aspect of the nation to encourage subjects like Hinduism, Bible Knowledge, Islamic Studies and we want these studies to flourish side by side in order to inculcate in our youth values of mutual understanding, of respect of each other's culture and of love.

This is why I personally, as Minister of Education welcome what my mentor and predecessor Sir Kher Jagatsing had initiated so that our students can be imbued with the culture of love, the culture of brotherhood. I said some time ago at Long Mountain that by faith and by conviction I am a Christian, but I always bless the fact that I have been profoundly influenced by Hinduism. There are in fact two cultures which have intermingled and enriched my way of seeing things: the Greek culture and Hinduism…..

Our world is unfortunately very heavily loaded with materialistic concepts. We are battered by double standards, by duplicity and by illusions. And if through Hinduism and the teaching of fundamental precepts we can go back to values which are real then Yogi Rummun and all those who follow suit would not have worked in vain. The task, the challenge is greater but the greater the challenge the more astounding will be the victory.

Yogi Rummun

Hinduism today stands on the threshold of a new era, a new millennium with its oncoming globalization. Never before perhaps in its long history had it been confronted with so many challenges threatening its unity, its philosophy, its very existence as today in this global village, whether overtly or covertly, openly or subtly. And yet it must triumph over them all as it had done in the past — whether here or elsewhere.

But this requires a new thinking, a novel approach, a reinterpretation of scriptural truth, and its adaptation to present-day life. Take for instance the concepts of Yajna, daan and tapas. Yajna is not to be taken as mere fire-sacrifice but as self-sacrifice; daan as not mere charity but as organized donation for modern institutions; tapas as not mere austerity in the forest, but as self abnegation for the welfare of the world (lokasangraha). Men, money, and self-sacrifice. It is with these that our rishis of old built our worthy institutions. It is with these again, applied in the modern context, that we shall set up the new institutions needed today: modern schools and universities, libraries and research centres; dynamic ashrams and endowments; a trained and enlightened priesthood; living social and religious codes that give relevance and meaning to our prayers, rituals and actions ¾ to produce for example teachers and scholars, priests and missionaries, thinkers and philanthropists, scientists and statesmen of vision and daring adapting the best of the west to the eternal legacy of the rishis in order to lead us into the next millennium. A gigantic leap forward in practical spirituality. God’s will be done! Brace yourselves, young friends, thousands of years are beckoning to you!…

 

Comments of the Chairman of the Adjudicating Panel, Mr Gian Dhunnookchand

Panel of Adjudicators with (L to R) Prof. Roodurmun, Dr. Sharma of the Indian High Com. Mr. G. Dhunnokchand (Chairman) , Dr. D. Ramnauth & Dr. M. Chintamunnee

A selection exercise becomes easy when there is a large margin of difference in the level of performance. Today our task was really difficult. Believe me ladies and gentlemen, we reached the conclusion after considerable discussion. It was not an easy task because all the participants have performed well.

Today we have analysed the performance of the participants on the following criteria: presentation, content, that is, subject matter, delivery, originality, respect for the rules, eye contact, use of humour and overall impact --- global influence and global effect. Due to time constraint, I am not going to comment on each area in detail, but let me assure you, all the participants especially the speakers have been resourceful and eloquent. They were not mumbling. They have avoided repetition. So on behalf of my friends, Dr Ramnauth, Dr Sharma, Shri Roodurmun and Shri Chintamunnee, I congratulate all the participants…..