24-hour Hindu radio station in Trinidad

via Media Release published on September 24, 2006

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad–Trinidad’s largest Hindu organization has been granted a license to launch a 24-hour radio station after years of legal battles with the government, the group’s leader says.

Sat Maharaj, Secretary General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, signed the license on Friday with officials from Trinidad and Tobago’s telecommunications authority, he said.

The station, to be called Jaagriti – a Hindi word for reawakening,  will be based in Tunapuna and be operational by November 1.

Speaking afterwards to journalists, Maharaj said the Maha Sabha was happy to receive the licence but sad that it took such a long time. The Maha Sabha had applied for its radio licence on September 1, 2000. Maharaj claimed the delay was tantamount to an act of discrimination against the Hindu community of Trinidad and Tobago.

The organization has been locked in lawsuits with the government for five years to obtain the license. In July, England’s Privy Council, the final court of appeal for Trinidad and many former British colonies in the Caribbean, said the government had discriminated against the group _ though it didn’t specify how _ and ordered it to grant the license.

The government has said that the radio station’s application was pending and there was a waiting process.

Trinidad is split evenly along racial lines. About 40 percent of the population are descendants of African slaves, while another 40 percent are of East Indian origin. The governing People’s National Movement is linked closely with Afro-Trinidadians

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