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Hindus call for public holiday on Diwali in US Virgin Islands

Hindus are seeking public holiday in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) on Diwali, the most popular of their festivals; starting 2022.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that it was not fair with USVI 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 USVI Government needed to revisit its public holiday policies as the USVI is a multicultural society. He urged Albert Bryan Jr. and Tregenza A. Roach, USVI Governor and Lieutenant Governor respectively, to seriously examine this issue of fairness.

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".

Zed noted that awareness about other religions thus created by such holidays like Diwali would strengthen cohesion and unity in the overall USVI citizenry and make them well-nurtured and enlightened citizens.

As an interfaith gesture; Rajan Zed urged leaders of other religions/denominations active in USVI to come out in the support of Hindu brothers and sisters for Diwali holiday.

Zed further says that Hinduism is rich in festivals and religious festivals are very dear and sacred to Hindus. Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Diwali falls on Monday, October 24, in 2022.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.2 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

USVI, a territory of United States of America in the Caribbean; consists of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas; and the capital is Charlotte Amalie.

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