The controversy over the decision to conclude the upcoming Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival on a Sunday continues.
Today, the Meghalaya United Christian Forum (MUCF) has urged the State government to shift the proposed concluding programmes to any other day to respect the sentiments of Christians in the State.
MUCF chairman Rev. Batkupar Dunai in a statement issued to the media said that the Forum believes that every day is a gift from God, but Sunday is a holy day of public worship for churches of various denominations except for certain church groups that worship on a different day.
“With regards to the Cherry Blossom Festival as seen in the news to be concluded on Sunday, the MUCF would heartily appreciate the State government to shift the proposed concluding programmes to any other day graciously respecting the sentiments of lakhs of Christians in Meghalaya who honorably consider the sanctity of sacredness of Sunday as the divinely appointed day for the churches to solemnly conduct prayers, worship and fellowship for Christian believers undisturbed by any sort of distractive functions especially the extravagant events,” Rev. Dunai said.
Yesterday, the Khasi Jaintia Christian Leaders Forum (KJCLF) had said that although it is not against the festivals organised by the State government, it however emphasised that “Sunday is maintained as a sacred and holy day by Christians and churches”.
It may be mentioned that the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled to be held from November 17 to 19 at Madan Kurkalang, Bhoirymbong.
Since November 19 falls on a Sunday, at least two groups have demanded rescheduling of the closing day to another day.
The Saindur Tipkur Tipkha Eh-Rngiew Hynniewtrep (STIEH) and the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Ri-Bhoi organisations have voiced strong opposition against the decision to conclude the upcoming Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival on a Sunday.
Tourism Minister Paul Lyngdoh has condemned the objections raised by the two groups.
Stating that “every day is a holy day and not just Sunday”, the minister said that those who oppose concluding of the festival on a Sunday did so with political motives.