President Ali calls for unity, mutual elevation as Maha Shivaratri is observed

His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Friday observed the Maha Shivaratri festival alongside scores of Hindu devotees at the Guyana Sevashram Sangha, Cove & John Ashram on the East Coast Demerara (ECD).

Addressing the gathering, President Ali urged the people of Guyana to utilize this religious occasion as an opportunity to unite and uplift one another, fostering selflessness within society.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

He emphasised that this religious celebration signifies acts of selflessness and serves as a moment for reflection and transformation, particularly amidst the challenges prevalent in the world.

“As [we] celebrate Maha Shivaratri this year, let us purposely commit ourselves to the unity of each other, to the upliftment of each other, to the embodiment of each other, to the removal of all the barriers of progress, to the removal of all the barriers that can keep us back … these moments of spirituality, these moments of reflection, these moments of going in your inner self …  needs to be shared widely,” the president stressed.

The grand Hindu celebration is a time of devotion and fasting to honour Lord Shiva. It also serves as a period of reflection to purify the body, mind and soul from evil forces.

President Ali interacting with Guyanese at the Mahashrivratri celebrations

President Ali also used this occasion to urge the Guyanese populace to fight off all forms of evil, including the attack on democracy that had plagued the country in the past.

He acknowledged the efforts of many Guyanese who fought to destroy attempts to rig national elections, “… But then we took it for granted … We saw attempts to embody our country with such evil because that is what it is. Now, that so many Guyanese, so many of you from all walks of life fought to ensure democracy stood in place, we have the responsibility to build a system, to transform into a system that will never allow this to occur again.”

Moreover, the president sounded the government’s dedication to building a country and society based on the principles of compassion, understanding, honour and dignity.

“Today, as a government, I commit to you that the elements of Maha Shivaratri, the elements of reflection in the period of lent and Ramadan, are elements we take seriously as we build a country and society that is more compassionate, one that has more honour and dignity for human life and liberation,” he further affirmed.

President Ali also underscored that the celebration of Maha Shivaratri is not solely relevant to the Hindu devotees but to every human being. As Maha Shivaratri, Lent, and Ramadan are being observed consecutively, the head of state noted that this will allow the country to come together in spirituality.

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