Controversy Surrounds UNICEF Calendar With No Hindu or Sikh Holidays

February 5, 2004

Source: Hindustan Times,00050003.htm

On February 5, 2004 the Hindustan Times reported, "A major controversy erupted after UNICEF's UK branch printed a diary ignoring Hindu and Sikh religious festivals while listing religious festivals from Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. The diary which contains 25 days associated with Christianity, three days linked to Islam, two days for Judaism and one day for Buddhism has not mentioned Diwali, Holi or Janmashtami, three of the most popular festivals celebrated by over 600,000 Hindus in the UK. Swami Nathan from the World Hindu Mahasangam who wrote repeatedly to the UNICEF to protest against the exclusion defiantly explained, 'I wrote to them two years in a row. They did not even bother to respond. Finally, in the third year, I wrote again to say that if they do not withdraw the diary for 2004, we would ask Hindus in the UK to stop donating funds to UNICEF. They have still not responded to any of my letters.'"