13 Feb : A Hindu chaplain has been denied the request to lead the opening prayer of Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly of Canada.Kathleen Casey, Assembly Speaker, in a response to the request of Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that according to the tradition, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly lead the House in prayer and the traditional prayers were first adopted by the House in 1877.
Charles MacKay, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, in another communiqué to acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, said that same three prayers were read each sitting day. These included “A prayer for the Queen’s majesty”, “A prayer for the Legislative Assembly”, and “The Lord’s prayer”.
It reads “…WE HUMBLY BEG IN THE NAME AND MEDIATION OF JESUS CHRIST, OUR MOST BLESSED SAVIOUR AND LORD…”.
Initiation of change to prayer structure of the House originates with the Standing Committee on Privileges, Rules and Private Bills. Committee last reviewed the “Prayers” routine on March 26, 2008, and no recommendation for change was made at that time, according to MacKay.
First held in 1773, the Legislative Assembly with 27 members is the parliament of Prince Edward Island, responsible for enacting legislation, approving the financial proposals of government, holding the Premier and Cabinet accountable for their actions and debating public issues. Prince Edward Island, setting for ‘Anne of Green Gables’, is one of the ten provinces of Canada, world’s second largest country.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.