Simbhoonath Capildeo

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Simbhoonath Capildeo was born in 1914 and died in 1990 was a Trinidad and Tobago prominent Hindu politician and lawyer he was born in Chaguanas. He was the elder brother of Rudranath Capildeo and uncle of Sir Vidia Naipaul and Shiva Naipaul. A politician who would later earn the reputation as the "lion of the Legislative Council" Capildeo was one of the founding members of the Democratic Labour Party and a Member of Parliament from 1956-1966. He served as the Leader of the Opposition in 1956. Capildeo was also an important leader of the Hindu community in Trinidad and played in role in the foundation of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha along with Bhadase Sagan Maraj. He received the Chaconia Gold medal from the Trinidad and Tobago government for his service to the country.

His father, Pundit Capildeo Dubey, an immigrant from the village of Mahadeva Dubey, Somra, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India, built Anand Bhavan (the Lion House) on the Main Road, Chaguanas. The Lion House is arguably the most famous architectural icon representing the Indian heritage of Trinidad and Tobago. Pundit Capildeo died on a trip to India in 1926, leaving the young Simbhoonath as the family patriarch at the age of 12. His mother, Soogee Capildeo, guided him but Simbhoonath was an autodidact. His nephew, V.S. Naipaul, wrote about Simbhoonath's love for books in The Mystic Masseur. In his 9 line biographical sketch in the Indian Centenary Review (1845–1945) his hobby is listed as: Reading.

He studied Hindustani and Sanskrit and became a local expert on Hinduism, as well as exploring the philosophers of Western Civilization. He rapidly assumed intellectual leadership of Hindu Society and in 1928 he began creating the modern formal structure of Hindu society in Trinidad and Tobago.

Simbhoonath Capildeo was married to Indradai Capildeo (née Ramoutar) and was the father of one daughter, Sita, born 1936, and two sons, Devendranath, born 1938 and Surendranath, born 1940. Surendranath, also a lawyer, was the only child who followed his father into local politics: he served as a senator of the United National Congress (UNC) party in the early 1990s.

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