Wednesday, Nov 2nd: JFH attended the NYC Comptroller, Scott Stringer’s Diwali party near City Hall. The opening prayer ceremony was conducted by Dr. Krishna Pratap Dixit, head priest at the Hindu Center in Flushing Queens. The function honored several other Desi organization such as the India Home, the Indo-Caribbean Alliance and the Sikh Coalition. The function was also attended by Dr. Neeta Jain who is the Democratic district leader for Assembly District 25 (Queens).
After the event, JFH members were able to briefly meet with both the Comptroller and Assembly woman Neeta Jain to advocate for the ongoing Hindu Holidays Campaign which seeks to ad Diwali and Holi to NYC and NJ school calendars. Comptroller Stringer said he agreed with the proposal and Dr. Neeta Jain said she would look into the question; they both took a flier regarding the issue.
The Comptroller’s Diwali party comes on the heels of the Long Island Syosset school board’s decision to add Diwali to its school calendar. Last year, several Hindu organization petitioned the Mayor’s office to add Diwali to the NYC school calendars with large protests at City Hall.
De Blasio’s refusal to add Hindu holidays, while incorporating Muslim and Chinese holidays into school calendars, has raised contention with NYC Hindu voters. State Senator Leroy Comrie however has made it clear that he supports the addition of Hindu Holidays. The addition of Diwali and Holi into school calendars is certainly possible, Hindus simply need to keep up the pressure and continue to perk the ears of elected officials who are interested in keeping our vote.