*Hindu Rights to Survive with Dignity & Sovereignty *Join Hindu Freedom Movement to make Bharat Hindu Rashtra within 2025 *Jai Shri Ram *Jayatu Jayatu Hindu Rashtram *Editor: Upananda Brahmachari.
HENB | New York | April 25, 20015:: In demand for Hindu Holidays in New York City schools, multiple Hindu groups in NYC will hold a ‘Grand Rally’ in front of City Hall, i.e. in front of NYC Mayor’s Office on Friday, 10th April 2015 at 12 noon.
Hindu community leaders in the US have been expressing their disappointment over a decision by the city administration here of excluding Diwali from its list of school holidays. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio on March 4, announced that the city is adding the Muslim holy days of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha as holidays in its public school calendar as “respect for one of the great faiths of this earth” and as an “acknowledgment that in a strong society all faiths needed to be respected”.
The announcement was made New York City the largest school district in the nation to take this action. The mayor, however, excluded Diwali from the public school holiday calendar, despite growing calls by the Hindu community to observe the festival given that hundreds of thousands of Indians living in the area celebrate it. Leaders at the advocacy organisation Hindu American Foundation (HAF) expressed deep disappointment with de Blasio’s decision to exclude Diwali from the 2015-16 public school calendars.
Now, the aggrieved Hindu community group leaders have arrived at a decision to make protest over the issue of excluding Hindu Diwali from list of school holidays in NYC. Mainly Bangladeshi Hindu groups living in NYC, have taken the initiatives to hold the rally with all other active Hindu groups in NYC.
In a press communication, Sri Sitangshu Guha, a key person of the present event conveyed HENB that, “NYC schools are closed that day (the Grand Rally day on 10th April 2015) and we are expecting a huge gathering in front of the city hall, as it is the legitimate demand of the Hindus of this great diversified city. Organizers are trying to contact everybody, including Indians, Nepalese, Guyanese and all others to support and join the rally. It is also informed that, all organizations can join with their banner etc. “
Earlier, HAF’s NYC-based Senior Director Sheetal Shah communicated to the press, “While the addition of two Muslim holidays is commendable, the Mayor’s decision to exclude Diwali, a festival that is celebrated by thousands of Hindu, Jain, and Sikhs in NYC is beyond disappointing.”
Last year, HAF had joined hands with a broad-based Diwali Coalition of almost 40 organisations and NYC temples that had urged the Mayor to include Diwali alongside two proposed Muslim holidays and the Lunar New Year. Hindu organizations belong to the Diwali Coalition created a petition last year urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to recognize Diwali as an official school holiday. So far, the petition has nearly 2,000 signatures.
A four members delegation of the Hindu community met New York Department of Education representatives last year about the issue. They were told Hindu students can request the day off as an optional holiday under the city’s religious accommodation guidelines. Students would not be marked as absent but they would still miss classes. But, such optional provision could not satisfy the petitioner anyway.
Outside of New York City, a handful of school districts with large Hindu populations have officially recognized Diwali. In February, the Glen Rock district in Bergen County, New Jersey, voted to have the major Hindu holiday on its school calendar. In South Brunswick, New Jersey, the holiday has been on the school calendar since 2011. The Passaic School District, also in New Jersey, added Diwali to its calendar in 2005. Similar appeals have been made in some California school districts with growing Hindu populations.
But, present City Mayor of NYC, Mr. Bill de Blasio is believed to be close to a fundamental Muslim organisation CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) which is in the backdrop of sanctioning two additional Muslim holidays for sealing the Hindu holiday of Diwali in a very derogatory and manipulating measure. This somehow amounts an Islamisation of NYC in a very peevish way.
Upananda Brahmachari, Chairperson of Hindu Existence Forum condemned the mannerism of NYC Mayor for favoring the Muslim citizens by depriving the Hindus of NYC in the present context. ‘This is a clear violation Hindu Religious Rights of Hindus in USA and deprivation too’, said Brahmachari.
Hindu Existence Forum appeals the NYC Mayor to reconsider his vested decision and include Diwali in the holiday list of NYC schools.
Courtesy: Links and pic. used above.