ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Diwali, the most popular festival of the Hindu religion, falls on October 19th, this Thursday.

A top Hindu statesman, Rajan Zed, has been lobbying hard in Jefferson City to have Diwali declared a legal holiday and an occasion to close schools so Hindu students are not penalized by missing tests or homework by taking the day off.

Zed is urging Governor Eric Greitens, as well as the state’s education commissioner and the president of the state board of education, to work towards adding Diwali as an official holiday throughout all state public schools, while also setting an example for all private, charter and independent schools.

Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world with more than 1 Billion adherents, and Diwali is the annual festival of lights symbolizing the victory of good over evil.

Schools in New York and New Jersey, among other places, have already reportedly declared Diwali an official day off from school.

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