25/11/2014

Tayside Hindu Cultural & Community Centre 30th Anniversary

The picture shows some of those attending on Friday night (thanks to my friends in Dundee SNP for the picture)
On Friday evening I attended the celebrations to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Tayside Hindu Cultural and Community Centre.  The centre is in Taylor's Lane just off the Perth Road.  I was delighted to join with all those present including Joe FitzPatrick MSP and my ward colleague Councillor Vari McDonald.

Dundee is a diverse city and it is a city which is built on a history of immigration.  I was happy to pay tribute to those members of the Indian community who have made their homes here in Dundee.  I am proud as a Labour councillor in Dundee to follow Dr Jainti Saggar who served as a Labour councillor in Dundee from 1936 until 1954.  Dr Saggar was the first black or Asian councillor in Scotland and along with his family he made a real contribution to the history of Dundee and this is why Saggar Street in the Pentland estate in my ward is named after him.  Dundee is also a religiously diverse city in which people live together and share in each others festivals and respect each others traditions.  It was good to see members of the Christian and Muslim communities at the celebrations.

It was good to get the opportunity to hear about the work of the centre and to learn more about Hindu culture and religion.  It was great to listen to the traditional songs and see the traditional dances.  It was also great to the chance to taste some authentic food.

Readers of the Courier will be aware that the Tayside Hindu Cultural and Community Centre is currently re-negotiating its lease with the city council.  I have made representations to officers making it clear that I think there should be a solution which makes everyone happy.  It makes no sense for the council to evict this group which adds so much to the cultural diversity of the city. I am clear that a compromise should be found which allows the centre to remain and which allows the council to receive some income for the property.