The Indian Diaspora Council issued a press release in support of Diwali as a national school holiday. Similar bill was introduced in the City Council of NY and State Legislatures of NY. Diwali is a school holiday in Schenectady upstate New York. Phagwah is also a school holiday in Schenectady.
The IDC release, as issued by Ashook Ramsaran, states:
THE INDIAN DIASPORA COUNCIL (IDC) ENDORSES DIWALI BILL HR11 BEING INTRODUCED BY US CONGRESS MEMBER GRACE MENG.
IDC President Ashook Ramsaran states that, “IDC fully supports Diwali as a school holiday and welcomes the introduction of HR11 in the US House of Representatives by US Congress Member Grace Meng”, (Congressional District #6 New York) which comprises a significant population of people of South Asian origin.
118TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION H. R. ll
To amend title 5, United States Code, to establish Diwali, also known as ‘‘Deepavali’’, as a Federal holiday, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Ms. MENG introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee: To amend title 5, United States Code, to establish Diwali, also known as ‘‘Deepavali’’, as a Federal holiday, and for other purposes.
1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Diwali Day Act’’.
SEC. 2. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING DIWALI DAY.
Congress finds the following: Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is an auspicious day celebrated by many South and Southeast Asian communities as well as religious groups including the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain communities. Millions of Americans, both religious and secular, celebrate Diwali, which is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’’.
Diwali falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth month or the New Moon Day in the month of Ka˜rtika of the Vedic lunar calendar, which occurs during October or November. The celebration of Diwali coincides with the observation of the holidays recognized by many for Bandi Chhor Divas (the Day of Liberation), Kali Puja, and Tihar.
Diwali signifies the victory of good over evil and unfairness, and knowledge over ignorance. It is an annual time for celebration, reflection, prayer, and gatherings with family, friends, and community.
SEC. 3. DIWALI DAY.
Section 6103(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to Columbus Day the following: ‘‘Diwali Day.