A dispute over dates for the Diwali holiday this year seems set to continue next year.
The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha today said that it and others were not consulted on the date for next year but said that one has already been issued by Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan.
A release from the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha follows:
A list of holidays for 2016 including Diwali as the 29th of October (an earlier version of this story had the date as 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.
Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha wishes to express its disappointment at the manner in which Minister Ramjattan has declared the National holiday for Diwali 2016. 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.
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.
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.
The Sabha wishes to inform the public and the Hindu Community that Diwali is on the 30th of October, 2016.