[www.inewsguyana.com] – 2015 is yet to conclude but already there is brewing controversy over the 2016 date for Diwali, with the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha saying it is October 30, 2016 and the Government saying October 29, 2016.
The Dharmic Sabha in a statement noted that a list of holidays for 2016 including Diwali as the 29th of November has been recently released by Vice President and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan.
The Group however states that it was not consulted nor involved in any discussion with the Minister of Public Security.
“The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha wishes to express its disappointment at the manner in which Minister Ramjattan has declared the National holiday for Diwali 2016. As she always did, the late Angela Johnson, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security, wrote to the Dharmic Sabha asking for the Phagwah and Diwali dates for 2016 and these were sent to the Ministry in September 2015; Phagwah – March 23 and Diwali – October 30. This was apparently ignored,” the release stated.
The Hindu Association is accusing the Minister of attempting to perpetuate strife and division within the Hindu community.
“We see this as an act to perpetuate discord in the Hindu community by the Minister. We had hoped the Minister would see the wisdom in engaging the Sabha and other large Hindu bodies (the Hare Krishna Movement, Guyana Central Arya Samaj, Maha Kali Movement) in declaring the Hindu holidays for 2016.”
For the 2015 date there was also a lot of controversy, which led to the issue being politicized. Ramjattan had issued a decree that the Diwali 2015 date would be November 10, but the Dharmic Sabha insisted that the date was November 11.
Guyana is not the only country that had issues over the date with one part of India observing Diwali on November 10 and another on November 11.