Ram Mandir inauguration: Mauritius offers break to 'officers of Hindu faith'

Mauritius is the only African country where Hinduism is the most practised religion. In percentage terms, it ranks third globally behind Nepal and India

Women during Chhath Puja in Mauritius, where Hindus form over 48 per cent of the population (photo: chhathparv.com)
Women during Chhath Puja in Mauritius, where Hindus form over 48 per cent of the population (photo: chhathparv.com)
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PTI

In a significant move, the Mauritian government has decided to grant a one-off special leave for two hours to public servants of the Hindu faith to attend prayers marking the "landmark" inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on 22 January.

The pran pratishtha (consecration) at the temple will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior leaders, and the ceremony will be telecast live.

"Cabinet has agreed to the grant of a one-off special leave of two hours on Monday 22 January 2024 from 1400 hours to public officers of Hindu faith, subject to exigencies of service, in the context of the inauguration of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir in India, which is a landmark event as it symbolises the return of Lord Ram in Ayodhya," the Mauritian Cabinet led by Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth said in a statement on Friday.

Hinduism is the largest religion in Mauritius, with Hindus representing approximately 48.5 per cent of the population in 2011.

Mauritius is the only country in Africa where Hinduism is the most practised religion. In terms of percentage, the nation ranks third globally in the prevalence of Hinduism, following Nepal and India.

Hinduism came to Mauritius when Indians were brought in as indentured labour to colonial French — and later in much larger numbers — and British plantations in Mauritius and neighbouring islands of the Indian Ocean.

The migrants came primarily from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, modern-day Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. 

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