New Delhi, October 22, 2020: Hindus are seeking public holiday in New Zealand on Diwali, the most popular of their festivals; starting 2022.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was not fair with New Zealand Hindu community as they had to be at work/school on their most popular festival while there were public holidays on other religious days.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, suggested that New Zealand government needed to revisit its public holiday policies as the New Zealand demographics had changed making it a multicultural society and Hindu populations were continuing to grow. He urged Governor-General Patsy Reddy and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to seriously examine this issue of fairness.
New Zealand has 10 public holidays in 2022; including Good Friday, Easter Monday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day.
Rajan Zed stated that it was important for Hindu families to celebrate Diwali day together at home/temple. Public holiday on Diwali would ensure that and it would be “a step in the positive direction”.
As an interfaith gesture, Rajan Zed urged Roman Catholic Cardinal John Atcherley Dew, Anglican Archbishop/Primate Philip Richardson, Presbyterian Church General Assembly Moderator Taimoanaifakaofo Kaio to come out in the support of Hindu brothers and sisters for Diwali holiday.