Chelmsford schools asked to honor Diwali holiday


Hindus are asking Chelmsford Public Schools to include Diwali, a Hindu holy day, as a school holiday.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said pupils should not have to attend school during their most popular festival. Holidays of all major religions should be honored, and no student should be penalized for practicing his or her religion. He said it was important for Hindu families to celebrate Diwali day at home with their children; they did not want children to be deprived of privileges at school because of absences on this day. Zed also noted awareness about other religions would make students “well-balanced and enlightened citizens,” which aligns with CPS’ mission to cultivate “well-rounded lifelong learners.”
According to Zed, CPS needs to develop sensitivity to changing demographics; students should not miss school to celebrate sacred days.
Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling darkness and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. In addition to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and some Buddhists also celebrate Diwali. Hinduism, the oldest and third largest religion in the world, has around one billion adherents, with moksh, or liberation, being its ultimate goal. About three million Hindus live in the U.S.


Source: Chelmsford