There will reportedly be no classes for students on November seven, the day of most popular Hindu festival Diwali; in many school districts in the states of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Maryland.
Some school-districts/school in Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, Pennsylvania and Illinois have announced early-release-day/early-dismissal/abbreviated-schedule/single-session-day/half-day on November seven, reports suggest.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, welcoming the increasing trend of inclusion of Diwali day as holiday for students by school districts, called it a step in the positive direction.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged various other public-school districts and private-charter-independent schools, which had substantial population of Hindu students; especially in the states of Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Maryland, etc.; to seriously and favorably consider adding Diwali to the school holidays.
Rajan Zed indicated that since it was important for Hindu families to celebrate Diwali day together at home with their children; closing schools on Diwali would ensure that and would also display how respectful and accommodating various schools’ organizations were to their faith.
If schools had declared other religious holidays, why not Diwali, Zed asked. Holidays of all major religions should be honored and no one should be penalized for practicing their religion, Zed added.
Rajan Zed noted that awareness about other religions thus created by such holidays like Diwali would make all students well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.
Zed further says that Hinduism is rich in festivals and religious festivals are very dear and sacred to Hindus. Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.