Panday’s Legacy of Equality

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

THE life of former prime minister Basdeo Panday was a tapestry woven with threads of leadership, resilience and commitment to the ideals of democracy and justice. 

The First Wave Movement acknowledged the passing of Panday who died at age 90, saying he was a distinguished national whose impact resonated across various spheres of life.  

“As a dynamic organisation committed to civil and human rights, we join the global community in expressing our deepest condolences to Panday’s family, relatives and friends,” the organisation said in a media release.

The First Wave Movement led by Umar Abdullah said as the fifth prime minister from 1995 to 2001, he etched his name in history as the first person of Indian descent and the first Hindu to hold the esteemed office, breaking barriers and paving the way for diversity in leadership. 

Umar Abdullah

The movement also remembered his other achievements leading the labour union and political parties, as well as being awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (the highest Indian award conveyed to overseas Indians) in 2005, a testament to his contributions not only to Trinidad and Tobago but to the broader Indian diaspora. 

The First Wave Movement said, “In acknowledging his accomplishments, let us not forget the personal facets of Basdeo Panday’s life. As a husband and father, his presence surely enriched the lives of those closest to him. We extend our sympathies to his family, sharing in their grief and remembering the joy and love he brought into their lives.”

The movement quoted Panday’s words, “Our dreams and our visions are often beyond our comprehension, and it is the divine guidance that helps us navigate through the complexities of life.” 

The First Wave Movement prayed for God’s blessings and comfort for Panday’s family, relatives, and friends during this time of profound grief.   

“In the spirit of unity and compassion, let us, as a global community, provide comfort and peace to guide them through the challenging days ahead. Basdeo Panday’s legacy will endure, inspiring generations to come towards a future guided by the principles of justice, equality, and humanity,” the release stated. 

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