NYC: Guyana-born Dr. Dhanpaul Narine awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2013.

NYC: Guyana-born Dr. Dhanpaul Narine awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2013.

The Mahatma Gandhi Peace March was Timely and Relevant 

By: James Paul Sanjay Narine for The West Indian- NYC

Dhanpaul Natine

The eighteenth Mahatma Gandhi Peace March took place on October 6, 2013 under overcast skies in New York but this did not dampen the spirits of those interested in peace. The Peace March was organized as usual by the Federation of Hindu Mandirs Inc.USA and led by Dharamacharya Pt. Rishi Misir and other members of the Federation. There were representatives from numerous organizations and a good sprinkling of politicians too.   

The March began at 123rd Streets in Liberty Avenue and proceeded to the Arya Spiritual Center Ground at 133rd Sts. in Richmond Hill, New York. This year saw the Principal of Richmond Hill High School Mr. Neil Ganesh with members of his staff and students taking part in the Peace March. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also sent his special representative Ido Shargal to the March and GOPIO, the Brahma Kumari organization, ISCKON International, the NAACP, the Trinidad and Tobago Interfaith International Group and the Government of India were all represented.

The cultural program in the Park was outstanding and it was drawn from the USA Pandits’ Parishad, the United Community Mandir, Shri Trimurti Bhavan, among others. Tafazool Baksh and Jagdeo Persaud entertained the crowds toward the end. The highlight of the Peace March was the award of the 2013 Gandhi Peace Prize. The awardee was introduced by the General Secretary of the Federation Naidoo Veerapen. This year’s winner is Dr. Dhanpaul Narine, President of the Shri Trimurti Bhavan. He is also a teacher, columnist for the ‘West Indian’, television host, and motivational speaker, among other things. What was really amazing was that the Gandhi Peace Prize was presented to Dr. Dhanpaul Narine by the Deputy Indian Consul-General to New York, Dr. Devyani Khobragade. She brought greetings from the people and government of India to the event.

In her remarks she said that the Indians of the Caribbean have done well to keep the culture alive and to have a function to mark the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. Khobragade congratulated Dr. Narine for the award of the Gandhi Peace Prize and said that the people of India are proud of him and the work of the Federation of Hindu Mandirs.

The award was followed by a brilliant lecture by Professor Di’Indra Forgenie of John Jay College. She looked at the relevance of Gandhi to contemporary society and it was different from the usual Gandhi lecture. One departure from the past Peace Marches was the participation of the NAACP. Mr. Ken Cohen spoke of the struggles of Martin Luther King and how Dr. King was influenced by Gandhi. There were speeches by Assemblyman Mike Miller, Ashook Ramsaran from GOPIO, and Mohamed Hack, representing Councilman Ruben Wills, among others. A plaque was also presented to Patricia Langford of the TriState Alliance for her long years of community service.

(This article that appeared in The West Indian, a New York City publication, on October 12th 2013)

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Comments

  • Vidya sukul  On 12/13/2014 at 12:45 pm

    Is Dr. Dhanpaul Narine from the West Coast and a student of Sarswat High School in the sixties.

  • dhanpaul narine  On 12/14/2014 at 2:15 am

    Yes, and are you from Leonora who lived in the UK at one time?

  • Clyde Duncan  On 12/14/2014 at 12:17 pm

    Congratulations, Doc, on receiving the honour and recognition for your contributions to the community. Keep up the good work!

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