Controversy brews again over Diwali date

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 November 2015, 19:06 by GxMedia

Controversy is brewing over the date for Diwali 2016 date, with the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha saying that the government has again set the wrong date for next year’s Festival of Lights without consulting that Hindu organisation.

The government has set October 29, 2016 for Diwali while the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha says its pandits have calculated that the festival’s date should he on October 30, 2016.

“A list of holidays for 2016 including Diwali as the 29th of November has been recently released by Minister Ramjattan. Once again, the Guyana HIndu Dharmic Sabha was not consulted nor involved in any discussion with the Minister of Public Security,” said that Hindu organisation.

Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha expressed disappointment at the manner in which Minister Ramjattan has declared the National holiday for Diwali 2016. “We see this as an act to perpetuate discord in the Hindu community by the Minister.  We had hoped the Minister would see the wisdom in engaging the Sabha and other large Hindu bodies ( the Hare Krishna Movement, Guyana Central Arya Samaj, Maha Kali Movement) in declaring the Hindu holidays for 2016,” said the Dharmic Sabha in a statement.

The Sabha noted that as she always did, the late Angela Johnson, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security,  wrote to the Dharmic Sabha  asking for the Phagwah and Diwali dates for 2016 and these were sent to the Ministry in September 2015; Phagwah – March 23 and Diwali – October 30. “This was apparently ignored.”

The Sabha noted that this year overwhelming majority of the Hindu Community in Guyana  stood in unison against the previous attempt by the Minister to impose a Diwali date on our community. “These religious dates  are are calculated well ahead of the year by our Pandits using the panchang and it would be prudent to engage them in a matter that has national implications unless there is no genuine desire for social cohesion.”