Last Week when the PM of India hosted a conference for the serving Supreme Court Justices, that happened to fall on Good Friday. One particular christian Justice Kurian Joseph decided to protest the fact that he was asked to attended this on his religious holiday of Good Friday. He wanted to demonstrate the Tyranny of the Hindu PM Modiji. This was the second such protest by christians of India. During christmas last year, the Govt wanted to mark Dec 25th as “Good Governance Day”. After all 98% of Indians are not christians. Why force the 98% of NON christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus, instead why not do something useful that day. But that was not acceptable for the 2% christians in India who felt that they are being dissed by the Govt of India. That got me thinking.. What about other countries around the world.. How do they handle religious Holidays of their minorities in their countries? How does the “United States of America” handle this? What about Europe? Australia? ..so I did some research (Google naturally) and this is what I have found.
None of the christian majority countries in the world have a national holiday for non christianity..Not one. Not in the US, not in the UK, none of the European countries, Not Australia… Not even the alleged liberal country of Canada. No nationwide holiday for Eid, the most important holiday for the world second largest religion of Islam. Not a single holiday for the third largest religion of Hinduism anywhere in the christian majority country. No Holidays for Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Parsies.. Nada..None! Christianity is the only religion that is recognized nationwide in all these supposedly “Egalitarian” countries.
Then there are the country of Turkey, Israel and Japan with their own share of christian minorities but they do not have a holiday for Dec 25th (christmas).
Why is it that the christian majority countries do not recognize other religions of the world? Should Indian christians demand that they get special treatment in India? Where is the reciprocity of respecting one another’s religion?
Isn’t it time non christians stand up and demand that they be respected? And these countries have a common decency to accord basic respect for others religion as much as christians demand from others?
One of the popular term used in the west is “Tolerance”. Like in “We christians merely tolerate others religion… A patronizing drivel. Rajiv Malhotra has repeated so many times, tolerance towards other non christians and non christinity is not good enough. Mutual Respect is required from Christians towards other faiths. You do not tolerate your friends and your family members, you respect them. Respect is contingent on mutual respect. Not one sided. If you are not willing to respect others religion, then christians have no business to expect anything from others.
So should Hindus in India merely tolerate christians or actually respect them? Whats the rule? Whats the norm?
It is fashionable in interfaith discussions to advocate “tolerance” for other faiths. But we would find it patronizing, even downright insulting, to be “tolerated” at someone’s dinner table. No spouse would appreciate being told that his or her presence at home was being “tolerated.” No self-respecting worker accepts mere tolerance from colleagues. We tolerate those we consider inferior. In religious circles, tolerance, at best, is what the pious extend toward people they regard as heathens, idol worshippers or infidels. It is time we did away with tolerance and replaced it with “mutual respect.”
Religious tolerance was advocated in Europe after centuries of wars between opposing denominations of Christianity, each claiming to be “the one true church” and persecuting followers of “false religions.” Tolerance was a political “deal” arranged between enemies to quell the violence (a kind of cease-fire) without yielding any ground. Since it was not based on genuine respect for difference, it inevitably broke down.
My campaign against mere tolerance started in the late 1990s when I was invited to speak at a major interfaith initiative at Claremont Graduate University. Leaders of major faiths had gathered to propose a proclamation of “religious tolerance.” I argued that the word “tolerance” should be replaced with “mutual respect” in the resolution. The following day, Professor Karen Jo Torjesen, the organizer and head of religious studies at Claremont, told me I had caused a “sensation.” Not everyone present could easily accept such a radical idea, she said, but added that she herself was in agreement. Clearly, I had hit a raw nerve.
Lets face it, Religious supremacy not unlike Racial Supremacy has found a deep source from the bible belt of the US.
Nationwide statutory holidays in Canada
|Date||English name||French Name||Remarks|
|January 1||New Year’s Day||Jour de l’An||Celebrates the first day of every year in the Gregorian calendar.|
|Friday beforeEaster Day||Good Friday||Vendredi saint||Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. In Quebec, non-federally regulated employers must give either Good Friday or Easter Monday as a statutory holiday, though some give both days.|
|July 1 (July 2 when July 1 is a Sunday)||Canada Day||Fête du Canada||Celebrates Canada’s 1867 Confederation and establishment of dominion status.In Newfoundland and Labrador, observed as Memorial Day.|
|First Monday in September||Labour Day||Fête du travail||Celebrates economic and social achievements of workers.|
|December 25||Christmas Day||Noël||Celebrates the Nativity of Jesus.|