Blair accused of anti-Christian bias
The charge came after it was found Govt spent more on Diwali and Id than Christmas, reports Vijay Dutt.india Updated: Feb 10, 2006 20:25 IST
The British Government has been accused of anti-Christian bias because it has been spending more over festivals of ethnic minorities, like Diwali, Id and Chinese New Year than on Easter and Christmas.
The Home Office spent over £15000 in a week on celebrating Diwali and Id festivals, according to figures given to Parliament.
The Home Office revealed that it had invited 200 guests from the Hindu, Sikh and Muslim communities to an Id/Diwali celebration on November 14 at the cost of nearly £9000. An internal staff event also cost around £7500.
The Department for Transport (DfD) sent staff to minority events in Birmingham and Swansea but did nothing for Christmas except tell workers about carol concerts. The Foreign Commonwealth Office hosted VIP receptions to mark dates on the Muslim and Chinese calendars, but has had no plans to observe the main Christian festival of Easter.
This information was given in the House of Commons in response to questions by a Conservative MP, who complained of anti-Christian bias. But a government office spokesperson said that religious events were used to fulfil legal obligations to reach minority communities.
But critics are adamant that such a practice is promoting sectarianism as it defines people by religion. The broadcaster and honorary associate of the National Secular Society said, "It's wrong. It makes separateness more important."
First Published: Feb 10, 2006 20:25 IST