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UK Parliament may have to consider Diwali, Eid holidays

PTI | Last Updated: Sunday, June 1, 2014 - 22:04

London: British parliament may soon have to consider a request for a day off for Diwali and Eid with an online petition seeking a holiday for the festivals already attracting more than 119,500 signatures.

Under the rules of the e-petition scheme?introduced in 2011, once the 100,000 signature mark is reached it could be considered for a House of Commons debate.

According to a report in the `Sunday Express`, the debate may stir controversy as these could become the first non-Christian religious holidays in Britain and could lead to calls from other faiths for similar treatment.

The e-petition, titled `Make Eid & Diwali Public Holiday`, is addressed to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and reads: "I believe that given the number of Muslims and Hindu`s in this country it is only fair that we allow them to have the most important days in their faiths recognised in law.

The petition has three more months left to run. "By giving them public/bank holidays for these days we would be going some way to help to recognise the importance of these faiths to many within the country."
The e-petition has already sparked debate on?online chat forums, especially those aimed at British?Muslims and Hindus.
Many religious and community leaders, however, have distanced themselves from the idea. Vinod Popat, chairman of The British Hindu Voice said: "I don`t think it is a very good idea. How many festivals are there for other religions Should they all be marked with a public holiday The country would grind to a halt."

First Published: Sunday, June 1, 2014 - 22:04

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