Why should Latvia say Hindu prayers?


The strangest, most self-righteous email in a long time has to be the one about the Latvian parliament denying a request to begin the day with Hindu prayer. Why should it, one might justifiably ask? Latvia’s main religion is Christianity.

But such common sense seems to be beyond “Hindu statesman” Rajan Zed. He sent the email and much of it is a series of fulminations on the inequity that Latvia has heaped on the Hindu faith.

Mr Zed is based in the US and his website describes him as “an acclaimed Indo-American… who has taken up Hindu, interfaith, religion, environment, Roma and other causes all over the world.”

One might almost wish he hadn’t. Mr Zed may be passionate about the Hindu faith but he seems to be unwilling to apply common sense to the way it is perceived in some parts of the world. For Latvia, Hinduism is a foreign religion and it rightly sees no reason to start the legislative day with a prayer that is on the right side of absurd political correctness.

Here’s what Līga Amata, Senior Consultant at the Latvian Parliament (Saeima) Protocol Division, told Mr Zed when he asked if they would consider including Hindu prayers at the morning service in the chapel: “Christianity is the main religion of Latvia both historically and legitimately. As the main religion of Latvia is Christianity, the morning services are led only by the pastors of the main denominations of Christianity.”

Makes sense to me.

As Balzac said, equality may perhaps be a right, but no power on earth can ever turn it into a fact. In this case, there’s no reason to despite Mr Zed’s outrage.