Hindu community is heartbroken over Montgomery County Public Schools and Howard County Public School System in Maryland not planning to include Diwali as a school holiday in its calendars despite their longstanding wish and substantial population.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that it was not fair with Hindu pupils and their families as they would have to attend school on their most popular festival while schools in Montgomery and Howard counties were closed on some other religious holidays.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted that this unfairness did not send a good signal to the impressionable minds of schoolchildren who would be the leaders of tomorrow.
Rajan Zed urged Boards of Education of Montgomery and Howard counties public schools to relook into the issue considering adding Diwali as a schools holiday in the future calendars.
Zed stressed that since it was important for Hindu families to celebrate Diwali day together at home with their children, we did not want our children to be deprived of any privileges at the school because of thus resulting absences on this day. Closing schools on Diwali would ensure that and it would be a step in the positive direction.
Rajan Zed indicated that awareness about other religions thus created by such holidays like Diwali would make the Montgomery and Howard counties’ pupils well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow. It would make the districts look good also besides bringing cohesion and unity in the community.
According to Zed, Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Besides Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and some Buddhists also celebrate Diwali. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
There are about 209,000 students in the public schools of Montgomery and Howard counties.