New York: The popular Indo-Caribbean Hindu parade, Phagwah, is seen bound in the shackles of a lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the Hindu Parade and Festival Committee against the Federation of Hindu Mandirs last month.
As a result, the New York state Supreme Court has issued a restraining order. The Federation will no more advertise or hold the parade in Queens. Today, the judge will decide who the city should grant a parade permit to.
Phagwah is a good-natured, joyful, Hindu religious holiday observed in March which celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Hindus are seen wearing white this day. A harmless, red dye liquid known as ‘abeer’ is thrown upon each other playfully. Family, friends and neighbors, whether Hindu or not, celebrate the day with lots of powder, perfume and water throwing.
Upset by the decision, the festival committee members feel they are the rightful organizing party to receive the permit. This is because they have been holding the parade since it started in 1988.
“We have to fight for it,” said Roy Singh, president of the Hindu Parade and Festival Committee. “For me, people say, ‘You are fighting the other people.’ No, this is not fighting. This is worth fighting for against the evil element. This is in my blood. We do this as community work, and we do it because we love it.”
Unhappy about the lawsuit, the general secretary of the Federation of Hindu Mandirs is eagerly waiting for the outcome of the court case, likely to occur today. (Imagesource: gtmosquito.com)
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