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Hindus push for Diwali holiday in Connecticut's Rocky Hill Public Schools
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that it was simply not fair with Hindu pupils in Rocky Hill Public Schools (RHPS) as they had to be at school on their most popular festival, while Rocky Hill Public Schools were closed during observances of another religion.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated that since it was vital for Hindu families to celebrate Diwali day together at home with their children; closing schools on Diwali would ensure that and it would also display how respectful and accommodating RHPS was to their faith.
Rajan Zed indicated that holiday on Diwali in RHPS would be a step in the positive direction in view of the reported presence of a substantial number of Hindu students; as it was important to meet the religious and spiritual needs of Hindu pupils.
If RHPS had declared holidays around other religious days, 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 suggested RHPS to seriously look into declaring Diwali as an official holiday, thus recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education. Zed noted that awareness about 'other' religions thus created by such holidays like Diwali would make its students well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.
Zed also urged RHPS Superintendent Dr. Mark F. Zito and its Board Chairman Brian Dillon to work towards adding Diwali as an official holiday in RHPS.
Rajan 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. Diwali falls on October 24 this year.
Tagline of RHPS, which runs five schools, is "nurturing the future"; and its Mission includes "providing an educational environment in which all students discover and achieve their maximum potential".
Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion adherents and moksh (liberation)