Sahadeo Tiwari

Sahadeo Tiwari

Pundit Sahadeo Tiwari was born in the village of Sarwan in Bihar, India on 25th February, 1892. He came to Trinidad as an Indentured Immigrant in 1912 upon the vessel Sutlej, and later married Sunbass Tiwari (not related). This marriage according to his daughter Kanti, produced two sons: Ramakant and Surrindra and, five daughters: Maianti, Shanti, Savitri, Kanti, and Reanti.

The Sanatan Dharma Board of Control

In January 1932, Tiwari established The Sanatan Dharma Board of Control [Port-of-Spain Gazette, 17th January, 1932] . The Port-of-Spain Gazette noted that the principal objective of the organization was to unify Hindus and further the interest of the Hindu religion among the Hindu section of the local community. The Sanatan Dharma Board of Control was based in Tunapuna and as stated by the Port-of-Spain Gazette, was composed of predominantly orthodox, practising pundits who formed part of a Committee of Management that included: Pundit Sahadeo Tiwari (President), Pundit Bhagouti, Pundit Ramnarine, Pundit Dyalchan, Pundit Seereeram, Pundit Sohan, Pundit Seereedath, Pundit Sooknanan and Pundit Gosyne. The organization also had other objectives which were [Port-of-Spain Gazette, 17th January, 1932] :

(a).To further and assist the education and advancement of the adherents to Sanatana Dharma.

(b).To provide by voluntary subscriptions of its members with the aid of donations: (1).For the relief or maintenance of members when in distressed circumstances. (2).For the relief or maintenance of members during sickness or infirmity. (3).For the payment of the burial and other incidental funeral expenses of any members if needed. (4).For the giving of a dowry in a suitable case to the daughter of any member who by reason of his or her poverty shall be unable to provide for her marriage.

J.C. Jha noted that the group was formed by pundits and the pundits were critical of the Sanatan Dharma Association, another Hindu organization that had a number of Christians on its board [Jha, J.C. (1975), Non-Christian Marriages in Trinidad and Tobago. Symposium on East Indians in the Caribbean, U.W.I., St Augustine, June 1975] .

Vivaha Samskara

Pundit Tiwari was the first Pundit to perform a Hindu marriage ceremony or Vivaha Samskara in the day despite opposition from other Pundits who even threatened his life [Interview with Pundit Kaysho Byragie] . The Hindu marriage ceremony at the time was performed in the night and this resulted in the procession from the boy side or Baraat having to stay overnight. The family of the girl side or Dulahin had to look after and entertain the Baraatians, a rather costly exercise.

It was because of such economic circumstances that Pundit Sahadeo Tiwari felt it best to perform the marriage ceremony of Francis Jairam Bhopalsingh and Rajoo Narayansingh in the day. The ceremony took place on April 23rd, 1933 at 11:00 am in Tunapuna at the Old Railway Station [Port-of-Spain Gazette, 20th April, 1933] . By importing a book from India called the Vivah Paddhati, a Hindu manual on the marriage ceremony, Pundit Tiwari was able to silence his opposition against performing the ceremony during the day. Debate among the elite (Panchayat) was simple. Pundit Kaysho Byragie stressed that a wedding performed in the night meant that the Dhruva Taara (North Star) was shown to the bride and because the star was fixed, it was used to demonstrate to the bride that she should remain fixed in her commitment to her marriage. However, if the ceremony was done in the day, then Surya Darshan or the Sun was shown and it was made clear that the Sun held the same significance of the North Pole Star which was that it is in a fixed position. Thus, Pundit Byragie concluded, the validity of the day wedding was established through the facts put forward by Pundit Sahadeo Tiwari [Byragie Keysho Interview] .

Pundit Sahadeo Tiwari died on the 14th April, 1972. During his life he tutored a number of well known Pundits such as the late Ramcharan Byragie, the late Satnarayan Panday and Pundit Param among others.


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  • Tiwari (disambiguation) — Tiwari (Tewari, Tewary, Tiwary, Tewaree, Tiwaree,Tewarey) is a Hindu Brahmin surname. It may refer to the following people.*Narayan Dutt Tiwari, an Indian politician *Hari Shankar Tiwari, an Indian politician from Gorakhpur *Shweta Tiwari, an… …   Wikipedia

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