Nevada (USA), March 24, 2016: Hindus, upset by the reported anti-Hinduism display at a Dairy Queen (DQ) restaurant in Texas, are asking the International Dairy Queen Inc. CEO John P. Gainor Junior to issue a formal apology and arrange to remove the displays.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that DQ should not be in the business of disparaging religions. Posters reportedly displayed at its Kemah store in Texas were highly inappropriate and trivialized the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a highly philosophical thought.
Rajan Zed pointed out that DQ seemed to have even failed to follow its own “Mission Statement: To create positive memories for all who touch DQ” by allowing such derogatory signs at one of its restaurants.
International Dairy Queen Inc.; based in Minneapolis; is a subsidiary of Omaha headquartered Berkshire Hathaway Inc.; serving treats and food in over 6,600 locations in USA, Canada and 28 other countries since 1940. Warren E. Buffett is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Many Public school districts in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have already declared a day off for Diwali
There has been an estimated 1 million increase in Hindus in the USA making it 1% of its total population
Rajan Zed, a social activist, says it is important to meet the religious and spiritual needs of Hindu people
June 26, 2017: Hindu citizens of the Texas city in the USA are promoting all public school districts and private-charter-independent schools to stay closed on Diwali, which is the most celebrated and famous festival of Hindus and is to be observed on October 19 this year.
Many public school districts in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have already declared a day off for Diwali, while others are still considering this decision. Zed suggested all Texas schools, public-private-charter-independent, to seriously deal with this matter for ensuring the connection between spirituality and education. This, in turn, will lead to culturally and religiously enlightened citizens of tomorrow.
According to a social activist, Rajan Zed, it would be a step in the positive direction, as it was important to meet the religious and spiritual needs of Hindu people.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, insists schools on making attempts to accommodate the religious requirements of Hindu students and show respect to their faith by not carrying out daily business and taking classes on Diwali. He does not want students to bear an unwanted disadvantage for missing important assignments and work at school by taking a day off to observe Diwali. He urged Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath and Texas State Board of Education Chair Donna Bahorich to work towards adding Diwali as an official holiday in all the state’s public schools and motivating others to follow.
Zed asked schools to consider Diwali holiday on par with other religious holidays. He focused on equality of all religions without discriminating or isolating some. There has been an estimated 1 million increase in Hindus in the USA making it 1% of its total population. Zed further stressed the importance of Diwali being the festival of victory of good over evil and the value it holds to the Hindu culture which is also one of the richest cultures in the world.
New Delhi, April 4, 2017: Hindus welcomed Pennsylvania State University (Penn State, PSU), a major public research-intensive university, for celebrating with gusto the Hindu “festival of color”, in University Park campus on March 25, with an elephant present.
Rajan Zed, a Hindu activist said in a statement in Nevada today, elucidating PSU celebrating Holi as a step in the positive direction, urged all US public-private universities/colleges to sponsor Holi festivals on campuses, mentioned Merinews report.
Zed has pinpointed that substantial number of Hindu students at university/college campuses around the country would become a positive thing due to their presence, as it was vital to meet the religious and spiritual needs of these pupils.
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Rajan Zed also welcomed the presence of elephant at the celebrations as elephants had played a vital role in Hindu religious ceremonies. Elephant-headed Lord Ganesha is worshipped in Hinduism as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and was invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. Elephant Airavata emanated from Churning of the Ocean (samudra-manthana). There were ancient manuals written on the elephant, like Hastyayurveda and Matanga-lila. Moreover, Hindus traditionally loved, respected, cared for and looked after the welfare of the elephants and other animals.
Zed appreciated efforts of Penn State South Asian Student Association (SASA) and the campus for keeping the religion-culture of Hindu community alive in Penn State by organizing such celebrations; and extended gratitude to PSU President Dr. Eric J. Barron and PSU Trustees Chairman Ira M. Lubert for university support to Holi festival.
Rajan Zed further stated that Hinduism is rich in festivals and religious festivals are very dear and sacred to Hindus. Many US higher education institutions—Georgia Southern University, Missouri State University, Penn State Harrisburg, University of Texas at Austin, Colorado State University Pueblo, University of New Orleans, International American University, etc.—already had Holi celebrations; while many—University of Arkansas, Wagner College, Oakland University, etc.—are planning to host the celebrations in the near future.
Awareness about other religions is proliferating by organizing festivals like Diwali and Holi on the university-college campuses would help make nation’s students well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow; Zed indicated.
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Joie de vivre festival of Holi welcomes the beginning of spring and starts about ten days before the full moon of Phalguna. Besides color play, ceremonies also include the lighting of the bonfires, during which all evils are symbolically burnt. Holi also commemorates the frolics of youthful Lord Krishna; and celebrates the death of demoness Putana, burning of demoness Holika, and destruction of Kama by Lord Shiva. Holi fell on March 13 this year.
Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion followers, with moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
SASA’s “Holi 2017” announcement, scheduled from 11 am to four pm in HUB lawn of the Penn State campus and where the colors were provided, included live DJ and performances by dance teams—Penn State Sher Bhangra, Penn State Ghaamudyaz, Penn State JaDhoom, R.A.M. Squad; and cultural booths. This was reportedly the first time for an elephant to be present at the Holi celebrations, which were touted as “a great celebration full of friends, colors, music, and of course an ELEPHANT!!!” SASA was reportedly created in 1960 “to promote South Asian culture”.
PSU was founded in 1855 and is claimed to be ranked as one of the world’s top universities, has 24 campuses with around 100,000 students. It offers about 410 doctorate, graduate, baccalaureate, associate and professional degrees.
December 7, 2016: Hindu community has urged that the world’s largest hotel chains should keep a copy of “Bhagavad-Gita” (Song of the Lord) for their guests coming from all around the world.
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According to MeriNews, “US-based Hindu religious leader, Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, urged Arne M. Sorenson, Christopher J. Nassetta, Richard Solomons, Stephen P. Holmes and Stephen P. Joyce; CEOs of Marriot, Hilton, IHG, Wyndham and Choice respectively; to explore this as a part of the customer service package of a world-class hotel chain.”
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, suggested that even if immediately such a step cannot be taken, they can keep few copies at the front desk so that if the guests’ ask for it, they have it with them. It will be a positive step.
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Rajan Zed further said, “It would be a good business strategy also in view of increasing interest in ancient Hindu texts worldwide, especially among millennials. Moreover, top hotel chains were now attracting many Hindu guests who would love to see their sacred text in the hotels.”
As Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world.
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“In “Bhagavad-Gita”, a philosophical and intensely spiritual poem besides being one of the masterpieces of Sanskrit poetry, Lord Krishna gave spiritual enlightenment to the warrior Arjuna,” Zed added.