“Why Should Hindus Observe their Festivals?” – Asked a Hindu teenager

via Dr. BALRAM MISRA published on January 12, 2009

It was a piece of conversation between two teenagers in a park on 25th of Dec. 2008, which makes me write all this. 

• Wish you happy Christmas.

*    What happy Christmas?

• Today is 25th of December, the Christmas day.

*    It is for Christians, not for Hindus. If they punish a foolish Hindu converted to Christianity for observing karva chauth, why should Hindus observe their festivals?

• Join us tonight, you would get beautiful gifts.

*    No, thanks. Don’t tempt me please.

It was the second boy who gave me the clue of the relevant news published in Hindustan Times.
While some of the urban Hindus still celebrate Christmas and the new year day of Christ-era, in spite of the assertive Hindus’ incessant insistence on avoiding them,         Christians seem to shun and hate observance of non- Christian festivals. A glaring instance came to light in Kanpur (U. P) where a pastor was sacked because his wife observed Karva Chauth , a festival practically observed by almost all Indian women for a happy and long life of their husbands.

Reproduced below is Haidar Naqvi’s report, Wife’s karva chauth costs pastor his job, published on page 15 of Hindustan Times (New Delhi) on Monday, November 24, 2008:

 “Kanpur, November 23:  A   PASTOR has been dropped from the panel of pastors by the Assembly of   Believers’ Church after his wife observed the karva chauth fast.

Satyeendra  Shrivastava, who along with his wife Anita converted to Christianity 11 years ago, has threatened to end his life , if the decision is not revoked .

“ Is karva chauth the copyright of one religion? What wrong did my wife do by fasting for me? Wives of my Muslim friends fast . It is common these days,” said Satyeendra , who is also the vice president of the United Pastor Committee. Last month, a local newspaper wrote about some non- Hindu women observing the fast, which was on October 18. Anita was one of the women it wrote about. The church took note. “The next morning they asked me why I observed the fast when it wasn’t part of the custom,” she told H T. She said though she fasts for her husband, she doesn’t follow other rituals. “A woman would do any thing for her husband’s long life. I fasted because my husband was once a Hindu,” said Anita, sitting next to Satyeendra in their Bakarmandi home.

The church first relieved Satyeendra from marriage and funeral duties.  Recently, it dropped him from the panel of pastors. The all-powerful Bishop Council left him out of the list of pastors sent for approval to Bishop Anthony Augustus in Lucknow. Another pastor who, too, had been left out told Satyeendra of his exclusion.

He took up the matter with Bishop Council head Rev. E.J. Singh and sought a written reply. Satyeendra claimed he was told that when he was made pastor, it wasn’t conveyed in writing, so why should  his exclusion be conveyed in writing. For the last two weeks, Satyeendra has been on his own , “I have approached every one, even the Bishop, but no one is ready to listen.” The United Pastor Committee took up the issue with the church, but got no response even though they “ talked to Pastor Singh twice”, coordinator Pastor Aashu Thoplus said . H T tried to contact Bishop Augustus and Pastor Singh over the phone several times, but the calls weren’t returned.”


 Such incidents may pose many questions, such as the following:

1- Are Christian women not supposed to long for a long and happy life for their husbands?
2- Is Christianity too week and narrow to accommodate the customs of non- Christians in supposedly secular India?
3- Is Indian secularism meant for Hindus only?
4- Why should Hindus and other non – Christians celebrate the Christian festivals?
5- Why should the religions flourishing on Indian soil not have a Common National Culture ( C N C ) allowing observance of all Indian festivals and festivities by all Indians?
6- Will Satyeendra get solace?
7-  Why do the Hindus like Satyeendra succumb and convert ?
8- What is the need of conversion if all religions are equal?
9-  How long Bill Gates will take to replace   this obsolete form of religion by the rapidly advancing INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY?

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