Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nepal government ignores "Eid'

Sunday is a working day in Nepal and though Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated by Nepali Muslims on the day, there was no public holiday and all offices, banks, schools and colleges remained open.

Muslims in Nepal have always been deprived of their rights, according to a report in Hindustan Times. It further says that the government failed to pass the Secular Test on Eid, after it became a Secular nation early this year. And also that there are no signs still that Nepal would transform as a secular nation that has 10% Muslims.

Personally I feel it is not that big an issue. Of course, the adherents of a particular religion feel good if there is a holiday on their festival. They do feel a sense of belongingness. But many parties and groups have raised the issue and with time, may be there will be, at least, an optional holiday or even a public holiday.

Recently there were riots and the violence in which former AMU student and Madhesi leader Moid Khan was killed. Right now, what everybody needs is a stable country where law prevails and democracy takes root. That should be the priority right now. Eid holiday can wait.