Brinsley Samaroo, Presbyterianism & Religious Bigotry, Dookeran, and Ramchand
As an elected District Leader with a large South Asian population, I make this appeal on behalf of the more than 500,000 Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist families living in our great City. Both Assembly member Jenifer Rajkumar, and the Mayor know that the Mayor can declare Diwali a holiday, without anyone’s help. Indeed, both have repeatedly made unreserved Diwali holiday promises as major platform issues prior to being elected to their respective public offices. In the case of the Mayor, he promised “from Day 1, immediately after taking the oath of office.”
The Mayor can implement his School Chancellor’s regulation to make Diwali a holiday, just as had been done under Mayor Bill de Blasio to create the Eid and Lunar New Year holidays. Most disappointingly, Assembly member Jenifer Rajkumar betrayed her constituents who voted her into office, and collaborated on a flatulent promise that was nothing more than abdicating their promises and passing the buck to Albany legislators.
Their combined failures and refusal to deliver on their promise were aggravated in their misrepresentations to the media that this was a done deal. What is worse, they are further exploiting communities, by manipulating and changing their tunes, to confuse and deceive us that Albany now has to play a part in this. It is the typical “bait and switch con game” we must denounce. This is the kind of evil and darkness Diwali shines a light on, and eradicate. They have passed the buck to “blame typical dysfunction in the State legislature, as the culprit,” for the inevitable failure.
As articulated by former City Council member and Education Chair, Councilman Mark Treygar at a stated, public hearing to make Diwali a holiday, he verified that, “There are currently more than enough school days to declare Diwali a holiday, and the Mayor can take away a snow day, and make Diwali a holiday, tomorrow, if he wants to.” See 7:19 of this hearing:
Albert Baldeo (an elected District Leader in Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park and Ozone Park).