Hindus want all schools in Harrow area of England (United Kingdom) to add Diwali, the most popular Hindu holy day, to the holiday calendar.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urging Harrow schools to announce Diwali as school holiday, said that it was important for Hindu families to celebrate Diwali day together at home with their children. According to reports, highest proportion of Hindus in United Kingdom is in Harrow, who amount to over 25 percent of the total population.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that awareness about other religions thus created by such holidays would make Harrow pupils well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.
Rajan Zed further asked that Harrow Council should adopt Diwali and Holi as official festivals of the Council and organize citywide celebrations on these occasions. Zed also urged the University of Westminster to launch Hinduism courses in its Harrow campus.
According to 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. Besides Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and some Buddhists also celebrate Diwali.
Harrow, in north-west Greater London, which describes itself as “a vibrant hive of cultural diversity and history”, is home to famous Harrow School. Prominent people associated with it include poet Lord Byron, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, musician Sir Elton John, India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, actors Roger Moore and Dev Patel, King Hussein of Jordan and drummer Charlie Watts.