India Post News Service
CHICAGO: The Legislative Council of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia, which is a part of NSW Parliament, has turned down requests to have a Hindu opening prayer in an upcoming session.
The President of NSW Legislative Council, on taking Chair each day, reads the prayers, which include Lord’s Prayer, a well-known prayer in Christianity.
Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism had written to the Council President Matthew Ryan Mason-Cox requesting that he be scheduled to read opening-prayer in an upcoming session of the Council. The request was denied
Democratic governments should not be promoting one religion and excluding others and non-believers and thus infringing upon the human rights of minority religions and non-believers; Rajan Zed, who has opened both the United States Senate and US House of Representatives in Washington DC with Hindu prayers, emphasized.
It is high time for the NSW Legislative Council to move to multi-faith opening prayers. Since NSW Legislative Council represented every New South Welshman irrespective of religion/denomination/non-belief, it would be quite befitting in this increasingly diverse state to do a rotation of prayers representing major religions and indigenous spirituality and including slots for the thoughts of non-believers.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.2 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.
Democratically elected NSW Legislative Council, the Upper House of the NSW Parliament established in 1823, is said to be the first and oldest legislative body in Australia. In addition to its legislative work, the Council also scrutinizes the Government. Based in Sydney, it reportedly has 42 members.