Nevada (US), April 23 (ANI): A Hindu leader has been denied the request to read the opening prayer of Nova Scotia House of Assembly of Canada.
House Speaker Charlie Parker, in a response to the request of Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said:
"Under our Rules it is the Speaker who shall read prayers. This is done in private before the House officially commences. Attendance at prayer is not mandatory. This accommodates in some degree those of various faiths and non-adherents of the various religions. The prayer that is utilized by the Speaker was written by a former Speaker, the Honourable George Mitchell, in the early 1970s. It is non-denominational, but Christian in nature..."
"Until the Rules of the House change, I regretfully must advise that we cannot engage your kind offer", Speaker Parker added in the communiqui to Rajan Zed.
The Assembly prayer includes "Lord's Prayer", well-known prayer in Christianity, and also seeks blessing for Queen and members of the Royal Family. Another line in the text says: "Assist us in our deliberations so that our legislation will reflect a true spirit of justice and equity to all people".
According to Nancy A. Kinsman, Legislative Assistant to the Speaker, the same prayer is read every day.
First sat in 1758, this Assembly with 52 seats is the oldest in the country. Canada's first parliamentary democracy, Lonely Planet describes Nova Scotia as 'cute' and 'quaint'. It is one of the ten provinces of Canada, world's second largest country. Darrell Dexter is the Premier.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. (ANI)