Source: Hinduism Today, Paras Ramoutar
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, December 28, 2000: Holding the "Bhagavad Gita," prime minister Basdeo Panday was sworn in as Trinidad and Tobago's sixth Prime Minister. He is the only Hindu to serve as prime minister since the twin-island republic gained independence from Britain in 1962. Mr. Panday's United National Congress won 19 out of 36 seats in the House of Representatives. Of 15 cabinet ministers sworn in as of December 28, five are devout Hindus. The peaceful elections took place during the holiday ceremonies of the island's diverse religious factions. The Muslims observed Ramadan, The Hindus celebrated Kartik Nehan, and Christians honored the birth of Christ. The prime minister's objectives for his 2000-2005 term include: sustainable growth, a more educated nation, a faster rate of development, more jobs, a better quality of life for all citizens, peace, security and harmony, and a competitive economy.