– As religious bodies continue to disagree on dates
Hindus in Guyana are more than likely to celebrate Diwali on two days-November 10 and November 11. This is as two religious bodies continue to spat over the dates when the festival of light should be observed.
The disagreement continues even as Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, confirmed that he has already gazetted the date for the religious holiday as November 10.
The Diwali date changes every year. The event is calculated according to the position of the moon. According to Hindu calculation, the date of the holiday falls on 15th day of the dark fortnight in the auspicious Hindu month of Kartik or the month of October/November.
The Guyana Dharmic Sabha said that Deepavali should be observed on November 11 while Viraat Sabhaa is saying that the festival of light is to be celebrated on November 10.
Both bodies said that they have decided on the date after careful calculations and consultations from Astrologers in India and other countries, including Canada and the United States of America.
During a press conference yesterday, President of the Sabha, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, said that members from her organization were not contacted on the issue of the date change. She said that for years, Hindus have been observing the festival on the day it is being celebrated by the rest of the world.
According to Persaud, a few weeks ago, the Minister contacted her and indicated that he was approached by some pundits to change the date of Diwali. “He (Ramjattan) asked that the Sabha submit an explanation on its date which I did promptly but I never heard from him again.”
The Sabha’s head said that for the Minister to declare November 10 as the day Diwali should be celebrated on, is a high handed and dictatorial decision.
“The Guyana Dharmic Sabha has been calculating and providing dates to the Hindu community and the Government of Guyana in excess of 41 years. We don’t stand with a track record of one or two years, we have stood with the community for 41 years,” Persaud pointed out.
She made it clear that the Sabha and its members will be celebrating Diwali on November 11. Also, she said that the final motorcade will be held on November 10.
Explaining how the Sabha came up with the date for the festival of light, Vice President, Pandit Jagmohan Persaud, explained that Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika.
According to the Pandit, that moment occurs at approximately 14:00 hrs on November 11.
Meanwhile, the other religious body, Viraat Sabhaa, in a statement said, “Our conviction on the November 10 date is based on calculations premised on the knowledge of renowned Astrologists, Kaushik, Kaashi and Bhaskaar. These Panchangs/Patras (Astrological guides), all convincingly demonstrate that Deepawali 2015 is on November 10.”
The release further explained that all the auspicious time is present on November 10, which means that the festival of light must be observed during that day and not on any other day.
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