Hindu Hardliners Reject Celebration of ‘Christian’ New Year

Hindus constitute about 12 percent of Sri Lanka's 21 million population, which is mainly Buddhist

A prominent radical Hindu group has told followers to reject the celebration of the New Year on January 1, which signals an acceptance of Jesus, urging them to move the feast to April instead.

The Goa-based Hindu Janajagruti Samiti exhorted the nation of India to refrain from celebrating the traditional New Year because it creates “perversion” among young people and in its place urged Indians to move the festivities to April for the Hindu feast of “Chaitra Shukla Pratipada” or “Gudi Padwa.”

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti espouses the radical ideology that India should be a pure nation of Hindus, with no foreign religions.

The group has asserted that December 31 has no spiritual, historical, or environmental significance for Hindus and uncritically accepts a Christian chronology. Moreover, the parties and drinking of alcohol that form part of typical New Year celebrations is foreign to Hindu culture, they claim.

The traditional Western calendar is based on the year of the birth of Jesus Christ as the central event in human history, and delineates chronology using the abbreviations B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini–in the year of our Lord) to signal where events stand in relation to Christ’s birth.

In their own effort to distance themselves from Christianity, some Western academics have sought to replace the historical designation of B.C. with B.C.E. (before the common era), with little success.

“Beginning the New Year at midnight on December 31 by consuming alcoholic drinks, raising a ruckus, and committing crimes is not Indian culture,” the Samiti said in a statement.

The statement cited a survey suggesting that young people have their first taste of alcohol and first cigarette while celebrating the “Christian” New Year, adding that such a celebration harms social morality, disturbs law and order, and turns new generations toward delinquency.

“The conversion of Hindus begins by blindly following such Christian festivals,” the group asserted.

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) was established on October 2002 as an organization working for the protection of the nation of India and the unification of Hindus.

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