Hindus heartbroken over no Diwali holiday in Millburn schools

Hindu community is heartbroken over Millburn Township School District in New Jersey (USA) not including Diwali as a school holiday in its 2014-2015 school calendar despite all out efforts by them.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) 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 the district were closed on holy days of some other religions.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that this unfairness did not send a good signal to the impressionable minds of schoolchildren who would be the leaders of tomorrow. Zed urged the District to immediately revise the already approved 2014-15 calendar and include Diwali in it, which fell on October 23 this year.

Rajan 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 right direction”.

Zed noted that awareness about other religions thus created by such holidays like Diwali would make the Millburn pupils well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow. It would make the District look good also besides bringing cohesion and unity in the community.

According to Rajan Zed, Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Hindus worship goddess of good fortune and beauty Lakshmi, god of wisdom and auspiciousness Ganesh, and mountain Goverdhan on this day. Also on this day, coronation of Lord Ram was held, Lord Hanuman was born, Lord Vishnu returned kingdom to monkey king Bali of Kiskindha, Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi married, Lord Krishan killed demon Narakasur, and ancient king Vikramaditya was crowned. On this day of forgiveness, festivities, and friendliness; families and friends get together for worship followed by a sumptuous and elaborate feast. It is also considered a harvest festival. 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.

The Millburn Township School District in Millburn consists of seven schools and a preschool program with total about 4,925 pupils, including Millburn High, a national Blue Ribbon School. Jeffrey Waters and James Crisfield are Board President and Superintendent respectively.

Township of Millburn, incorporated in 1857, had reportedly one of the highest annual property tax bills in the state. Robert J. Tillotson and Timothy P. Gordon are Mayor and Business Administrator respectively of Millburn, whose notable residents included actress Anne Hathaway, actor John C. McGinley and hockey player Brian Rolston.

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