Canada: Indo-Canadian MP moves motion in parl to mark Nov as Hindu Heritage Month
The motion was initiated by Chandra Arya, an MP from the ruling Liberal Party representing Nepean in the Ottawa area. It also has 14 joint seconders, cutting across party lines.
TORONTO: An Indo-Canadian MP has moved a motion in Canada’s parliament to have November proclaimed as Hindu Heritage Month.
The motion was initiated on Monday by Chandra Arya, an MP from the ruling Liberal Party representing Nepean in the Ottawa area. It also has 14 joint seconders, cutting across party lines.
The motion is still to be debated, and passed through both chambers of parliament, the House of Commons and Senate, before Hindu Heritage Month becomes a reality.
The motion calls upon the Canadian government to “recognise the contributions that Hindu-Canadians have made to the socio-economic development of Canada, and their services to the Canadian society, the richness of Hindu Heritage and its vast contribution to the world of arts and science, astronomy to medicine, and its culture and traditions and the importance of educating and reflecting upon it for our future generations in Canada by declaring November, every year, Hindu Heritage Month.”
Similar heritage months are already dedicated in Canada. May is observed as Canadian Jewish Heritage Month, October as Canadian Islamic History Month and April as Sikh Heritage Month.
In his speech in the House introducing the motion, Arya said that “proclaiming Hindu Heritage Month also provides an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate both current and future generations about Hindu-Canadians and the important role they have played and continue to play in communities across Canada.”
Arya said that Hindus started arriving in Canada over 100 years back and their population numbers approximately 600,000 at this time and they hail from India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and other South Asian and Southeast Asian, African and Caribbean countries, including Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, among other places.
“Hindu-Canadians have made and continue to make significant contribution to Canada’s socio-economic, political, and cultural heritage as doctors, scientists, engineers, lawyers, business leaders, artists, academics, government officials, elected officials, etc. From building institutions to being philanthropists, Hindu-Canadians have excelled in all services and sectors and in all walks of life,” he said in the speech.
The motion was welcomed by the community. Dr Azad Kaushik, president of the National Alliance of Indo-Canadians said, “It is our hope that the motion will be passed in a non-partisan manner.”
Passage of the motion, he said, “would also be a recognition of the contributions Hindu-Canadians make to enrich the multi-cultural mosaic of Canadian life”.
Kushagr Sharma, vice-president of the Canadian Hindu Chamber of Commerce, said the community hoped for political “consensus” in securing the proclamation and it would “positively showcase the contribution of the community”.