Hindus have applauded Maryland’s Prince George's County Public Schools
(PGCPS) for reportedly including most popular Hindu festival Diwali as
school holiday in 2015-16 school year calendar.
Calling it “a step in the right direction”, distinguished Hindu statesman
Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that awareness about other
religions thus created by such holidays would make the PGCPS pupils
well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow. It
would make PGCPS look good also besides bringing cohesion and unity in the
community, Zed added.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said 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. Zed urged all school
districts across USA to declare Diwali as school holiday.
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.
PGCPS headquartered in Upper Marlboro, one of the nation’s 25 largest
school districts having 207 schools and over 124,000 students, claims to be
“nationally recognized for its innovative programs and initiatives” and
serves diverse student population. Dr. Segun C. Eubanks and Carolyn M.
Boston are Chair and Vice-Chair of its Board of Education, while Dr. Kevin
M. Maxwell is the Chief Executive Officer.
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.