Guyana condemns intolerance before Diwali celebrations begin

Guyana looks to celebrate a discrimination free Diwali as the ERC cracks down on organizers.

Guyana prepares for the Hindu festival of Diwali. (Image Credits: Google Images)
Guyana prepares for the Hindu festival of Diwali. (Image Credits: Google Images)

The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) of Guyana is taking steps against religious intolerance as the organisation investigates such a case, with relation to the festival of Diwali.

The Commission has taken issue to a public event being promoted via Facebook posts, which promotes the consumption of alcohol. According to the commission, such acts go against the Hindu traditions upon which the festival of Diwali is based.

The aforementioned event will be held in Charity, Essequibo on the National Holiday for Diwali, on November 13th, 2023.

The ERC has flagged various such events which the organisation believes, go against the values of the Hindu festival of Diwali. According to the organisation, the festival is a celebration of Hindu traditions, which call for reverence and worship.

Article 212D of the Constitution of Guyana allows the ERC to take up such matters and pursue them with impunity. In a statement on the matter, a representative said the following, “Ensure and create respect for religious, cultural and other forms of diversity in a plural society.”

The ERC has guaranteed that the organisation will take strong steps against those who exhibit religious intolerance and are prepared to conduct multiple investigations with the utmost efficiency.

The ERC has also called for people to abstain from meat, alcohol and other vices, pointing out that Diwali is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil and must be celebrated in accordance with those morals.

As a result, event organizers have been asked to be cognizant of such intricacies and avoid hurting religious and cultural sentiments. They have also been asked not to promote the concept of partying under the guise of such a venerated festival.

Furthermore, the organisation has stated that religious festivals and holidays are meant for spiritual growth and the celebration of life, straying away from such an approach would corrode the moral fabric of the entire nation of Guyana.