New York lawmakers and Hindu leaders push for Diwali holiday


If these students of South Asian descent don’t already take the day off, then they would like to.
Large numbers of students with Hindu, Sikh and Jain roots stay home from school to celebrate Diwali with their families.
They and others have been calling on the city to close schools for the Indian festival of lights since Mayor de Blasio announced his support for holidays on the Asian Lunar New Year and two Muslim holidays.
“We thought that if other religions are able to get their religious holidays off, then we as Hindus should get ours,” said Uma Mysorekar, president of the Ganesh Temple in Flushing.
The 20,000-member congregation is one of 39 religious and social service organizations that appealed to the mayor Friday, asking him to cancel classes for the third day of the five-day festival.
Approximately 200,000 New York City families celebrate the triumph of good over evil and the end of the business and agricultural calendar, said City Councilman Daniel Dromm.
“If the mayor is talking about two Eids, the Lunar New Year and Diwali, that’s only four days,” said Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), who introduced a resolution in 2013 proposing that Diwali be designated a school holiday.
De Blasio has said he’s considering whether to add Diwali to the growing list of religious observances for which schools are closed. An Education Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

Source: Daily News