(Hinduwebsite Editorial – Exploring
Truth Amidst Illusions and Distortions)
Few years ago, the Times of India and few other Media sources
tried to implicate the Indian Government on the Navodaya School
circulars about some curriculum activities that were scheduled on
December 25 for the students. All those who tried to find fault
with the Government on the issue ignored the fact that in none of
the Christian majority nations a Hindu festival has been declared
as a government or a national holiday.
There are about five to ten million Hindus in America (both of
Indian and American origins) and millions elsewhere in Europe and
Australia. They all have to work on every Hindu festival day or
they have to apply for leave.Therefore, logically in India, which
is a nation of few million Christians, Christmas should not be a
According to the official statistics, the Christian population
in India is about 5% or less of the total population. It is a holiday
because of the Colonial legacy left by the British and the tolerant
attitude of the majority Hindus. And everyone who wants to denigrate
the Hindus in India on this issue should respect that so far they
have not made celebrating Christmas a contentious issue.
However, since some Media sources had blown the issue out of
proportion, ascribing motives to the government as if there had
been a conspiracy, it could potentially become an issue in future
if they keep harping on it year after year.
If it happens, the Media has to blame itself for trying to politicize
and sensationalize a trivial matter and attribute motives to the
administrative decision of an educational institution.
We know that this is a sensitive subject and may make some people
uncomfortable. However, we decided to speak on this issue because
certain groups in India do not miss an opportunity to attack Hindus
and Hinduism on some pretext or the other.
The Media Companies in India believe that projecting Hindus in
an aggressive manner makes good news and increases their ratings
and circulation. Whether it is religious conversions or other matters,
Hindus are subjected to extra scrutiny and disproportionate criticism.
In today’s world, festivals like Christmas and Diwali have ceased
to be mere religious events. They create many business and employment
opportunities, besides improving tourism, commerce and industry,
and providing opportunities for mass celebrations and promoting
We therefore believe that people have a right to celebrate their
festivals and all communities should participate in them in the
spirit of religious amity.
However, Hindus should also remember that in none of the Islamic
nations Hindu festivals are recognized, and in none of the Christian
majority countries that we know a Hindu festival is officially declared
as a holiday. It is despite the fact that millions of Hindus live
in these countries and contribute to their prosperity and development.
Many Hindus who live in the USA are so elated by the inconsequential
news that the Whitehouse officially celebrates the Diwali. The truth
is, it is celebrated privately on a small scale by a few Hindus
and their friends in the administration, and not many people are
invited into the White House to participate in it. It just makes
On the contrary, in many States Hindus cannot celebrate Diwali
in the traditional manner, in the open, whether in front of their
houses or in the backyards. They cannot openly use fire crackers,
since using them in public places is statutorily prohibited. If
you want to celebrate, you need special permission which is difficult
So far, in none of the states Hindus have managed to obtain general
permission from the local governments to use firecrackers on the
day of Diwali. As far we know, there is not even an effort to do
so. This is the truth.
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