New executive director appointed

MB Subba

In what is an indication of issues being resolved in the religious organisation, the Hindu Dharma Samudaya of Bhutan (HDSB) appointed its executive director (ED) on October 5.

The HDSB is focusing on resolving the series of controversies that have bogged down the organisation during the last few years.

The new ED, Narayan Prassad Sharma, from Tala in Chhukha, said that a bright future lies ahead for the organisation. One of his main goals is to make HDSB a vibrant organisation for the Hindu community.

The cash-strapped organisation last year decided to collect donations from individuals but the move sparked a controversy within the HDSB.  The organisation planned to invest the money in buying a commercial building with the hope of earning regular rental incomes to support operation of its office and other activities.

The donation drive was short-lived as the Chhoedey Lhentshog froze the donation accounts for the proposed building. HDSB officials said the accounts were frozen following complaints of alleged misuse of the fund.

Donations dried up with the unfolding of the controversy. However, HDSB officials said that the allegations were baseless and that the accounts have been activated now.

HDSB president Swami Vivekananda Saraswati said that things had returned to normalcy with the issues resolved.

“The fund collection period has lapsed and the total collection is not sufficient to carry out the initially intended project. The HDSB would like to thank all the donors for their generous contribution and we will work together to make the project a successful one once the Covid-19 issue is over,” he said.

The HDSB expects the rental income from the building project would ensure sustained incomes for the organisation.

It has collected more than Nu 8.82 million, which has been deposited in the official bank accounts maintained with BNBL, T Bank, Druk PNB and BoBL.

The deposits, HDSB officials said, have earned a total interest of more than Nu 177,370. The details of the donations are provided in the HDSB website,

Swami Vivekananda Saraswati said that there are people who are against the building project. “We should not be deterred with these developments and always work together.”

He said that HDSB was committed to the service of the Hindu community. The building project was not stopped and the collected fund remained secured.

The HDSB president also said that the home ministry had cleared him of accusations of forging of documents while changing his name in the civil registry from Ram Chandra Bhandari to Swami Vivekananda Saraswati.

The board of the HSBD had filed a first investigation report (FIR) with the Thimphu police station in December 2019 (check). HDSB secretary had also issued a suspension order against the chairperson.