Hindus want all Texas schools to recognize the Diwali holiday, allow students the day off

A Pakistani Hindu carries oil lamps on the occasion of Diwali in Lahore. Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated with jubilation and enthusiasm as one of the biggest Hindu festivals. People decorate their homes with flowers and Diyas (earthen lamps) to celebrate the homecoming of the God Ram after vanquishing the demon king Ravana and honor the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. (Image: Getty Images)

Hindus are seeking all public, private and charter schools in Texas to close for their most popular religious holiday, Diwali. The holiday falls on October 19 this year.

According to a statement, Hindu statesman, Rajan Zed, believes that declaring the day off for Diwali would be a step in a positive direction, and that it’s important to meet the religious and spiritual needs of Hindu students.

“If schools had declared other religious holidays, why not Diwali?” Rajan Zed asked. “Holidays of all major religions should be honored and no one should be penalized for practicing their religion.”

Zed, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, believes that accommodating religious requirements of Hindu students by not scheduling classes on Diwali will show respect to their faith. Students wouldn’t be put at a disadvantage for missing exams or classwork by taking a day off to observe the holiday.

Public school districts in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey have already declared a day off for students on the holiday this upcoming school year.