Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Some Hindu organisations have kicked up a row over celebration of Christmas in missionary schools and have objected to Hindu students playing Santa. But there are Hindu families who have been celebrating Christmas with gusto for many years. For them, it is a festival of joy and peace and it brings happiness and positivity to their life. They said Santa is a symbol of happiness who fulfils small wishes. The five-year-old daughter Myra of Neeti Purohit, a social activist, has invited children living around to Christmas party at her home. Neeti prepares chocolate and fruit cakes every Christmas.
The family joins midnight mass at local church and makes sure that a well-lit and well-decorated Christmas tree sits in their living room. Neeti (44) thinks children should know about festivals of all religions. She finds the controversy over Santa unnecessary. “Santa has nothing to do with Christianity. It is a symbol of a benevolent person who spreads happiness who fulfils your small wishes. And that Santa can be your family member, your neighbour, your friend, anyone,” she says.
Neeti also wants to know why Hindus should feel insecure about their own religion. “Is my religion so weak that it cannot withstand my son dressing up as Santa?” she demanded to know. Ritu Sharma, a revenue inspector posted in Kolar, will celebrate Christmas this year too. “My daughter Kiana is two. And from her childhood, I want her to learn and understand about all religions. I want her to imbibe the value of caring and sharing,” she said. On Christmas, Ritu will organise a party for children of her friends and neighbours and she will be joined by her engineer hubby and in-laws. Ritu said that her childhood was spent in a colony with a fair number of Christian families. “I always used to hang a pair of socks for Santa and he always used to oblige me,” she said. Sheetal Dubey (43) who works with Uday Welfare Society, has been celebrating Christmas since childhood. “I think Christmas is a festival of joy and peace.
We decorate Christmas tree and bake cakes. We invite other children and celebrate it together,” she said. Artiste Ankita Rastogi believes Christmas brings happiness and positivity. “I have been celebrating Christmas for 12 years with my daughter Aaradhya. We decorate Chritsmas tree and we make plum cake. I become Santa,” she said.