Contributed by Rajan Zed
MIDDLETOWN — Hindus are upset at the posters that appeared on the campus of Wesleyan University suggesting students who have been celebrating Hindu festival of Holi were not allowed in Usdan, “a focal point of activity” on the campus.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Wesleyan President Dr. Michael S. Roth and its Board of Trustees Chair Joshua S. Boger should immediately apologize for these posters which were very insensitive to the students and others who celebrated the popular Hindu “festival of color” and it was belittling of the entire community.
Moreover, these posters saying “No colored people allowed in Usdan” were highly offensive to all people of color and were thus clearly unacceptable in a civilized society, Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued.
University’s first official celebration of Holi reportedly took place on Foss Hill on April 27, when these flyers appeared.
Joie de vivre festival of Holi welcomes the beginning of spring and starts about ten days before the full moon of Phalguna. The ceremonies include the lighting of the bonfires, during which all evils are symbolically burnt. Holi also commemorates the frolics of youthful Lord Krishna; celebrates the death of demoness Putana, burning of demoness Holika, and destruction of Kama by Lord Shiva. Actual Holi fell on March eight this year, Zed added.
Highly selective Wesleyan University, on a 316-acre campus overlooking the Connecticut River and with students from around the world, offers 47 major fields of study, including various doctoral programs. Annual expenses for a student now add to $58,371, while tuition was only $36 when it was founded in 1831 by Methodist leaders. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. reportedly visited this campus several times. Its Usdan University Center is a “central programming space for the campus community” and provides a “comfortable gathering place for students, staff, faculty, alumni and visitors”.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.