U.S. Senate passes Diwali Resolution
As I’m sure some of you have heard, the U.S. Senate on Friday passed by unanimous consent S. Res. 291, a “resolution recognizing the religious and historical significance of the festival of Diwali.” The resolution was passed in near light speed (well, in legislative terms), having been introduced only 10 days prior to its passage.
I have been asked by people in our community about whether this resolution is important or not, since it is largely ceremonial and a previous Congress passed a resolution recognizing Diwali as well, which HAF advocated for back in 2007. My answer to them is yes, it definitely is important. The last time the resolution was passed, it took a large amount of work getting legislators behind the idea. The quick, unanimous passage of S. Res. 291 indicates a greater amount of acceptance and visibility for Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs in Washington, D.C., a large step in only 4 years. More importantly, this resolution is another building block in getting policymakers to recognize that Hindu Americans are an important part of the American mainstream. You can’t get yourself heard on important policy and legislation if the policymakers don’t recognize you exist.