About Michael Ashwin Adhin
"From an early age, organization, education and selflessness have been the main motives for me for almost everything I did. Now this is an inseparable part of my character. As Minister of Education I had the opportunity to serve mainly the young Surinamese and then as Vice President of the Republic of Suriname to all of our people. Experience has taught me that we as a nation can build together on a healthy, resilient and prosperous Suriname, in which we use our rich diversity as a unique identity to guarantee our well-being; not one Surinamese excepted. In the conviction that you can put your trust in me, I want to continue working for our beloved Suriname".
- M. A. S. Adhin -
Michael Ashwin Adhin is the Vice President of the Republic of Suriname since August 2015. Till date he is the youngest in Suriname's history to hold this office, chairing the Council of 16 Ministers. His personal vision is geared towards finding ways to improve the “practical efficiency” of government and incorporate the practices of good governance.
Adhin was born on June 10, 1980 in the capital of Suriname, Paramaribo. His family has been known to be educators and politicians. Following in those footsteps Adhin embarked on a career of lecturing at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname after his return from the Netherlands in 2003, where he completed his Masters degree in Telecommunications at the Technical University of Delft. He has 3 siblings and is the eldest son of Arnold Karmachand Adhin en Inderwatie Adhin-Alakhramsing (deceased). Adhin's great grandfather Ramadhin, came as an indentured laborer from India (Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh) to work on the sugar plantations of Suriname. Ashwin Adhin is the fourth generation of Adhin's in Suriname. He is married to Gracella Vandana Mahabier.
Due to his philosophical curious learning nature, he studied both Western philosophy and Eastern philosophy. He skilled himself in practicing Arhatic Yoga and Healing and is a certified Past-Life Theraphist. He has significant orator experience and is a scholar of and speaker on Vedanta, Upanishad’s and Esoteric Studies.
Adhin’s favorite sports are soccer and draughts. In the area of arts, he is specialized in Hindustani classical music and plays the Indian Harmonium among other instruments.
Adhin is an advocate of promoting nation-building, nationalism and celebrating cultural diversity as a binding mechanism towards one Surinamese identity. As President of Vishva Hindu Parishad Suriname (2010 – Present) he Initiated numerous cultural activities to help elevate hindu traditions and culture. One of which was the construction of a giant Dia to commemorate the celebration of the festival of Deepawali (festival of lights), which later on became an annual national recurring event and allowed Deepawali to be dubbed a national Holiday.
As President of the Cultural Union Suriname (CUS) (2011-2014), an umbrella organization for promoting cultural activities in Suriname, he raised awareness on the strength of Suriname's cultural plurality and identity by introducing the slogan: ‘with culture in its plurality towards singularity in identity’, This slogan serves as the mission statement of the CUS till date.
From his teenage years till his early thirties, Adhin was a member of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) (1998 - 2013), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in India. As part of the RSS he completed the Trutiya Varsha Shiksha Varga in Nagpur, India in 2008. As member of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh he contributed to strengthening the bonds within the Hindu society in Suriname and the Netherlands and, introduced measures to help ensure practice of Hindu Dharma. It was during this time and also afterwards that he further developed his insights and knowledge in nation-building, character development, personal leadership and team-building.
Recognition and Awards
Recognizing his contributions to the Surinamese community, the President of Suriname, mr. D.D. Bouterse offered Adhin the position of Minister of Education and Community Development in 2013. Adhin’s desire to make a larger contribution to the development of the education system in Suriname, led him to accept the position which he fulfilled till 2015, when he was elected by the Parliament to fulfill the role of Vice President of the Republic of Suriname.
His contribution to the Surinamese community in general, but also for the Surinamese people of Indian descent has led him to receive the highest national award from the President of Suriname, namely the award of the Grand Officer in the Order of the Yellow Star, on the 145th anniversary of Indian Immigration (5th of June 2018). He also received an Award certificate from Organization Hindu Media (OHM) and Cultural Union Suriname (CUS) as a token of appreciation for 20 years special services (Samáj Sevá) to the Surinamese Hindu community.