Diwali in America, 2003

November 6, 2003

Source: Suburban


On November 6, 2003 the Suburban reported that "despite mediation by the borough’s Human Relations Commission, tension between members of the Dwarkadish Temple and neighboring residents has escalated again. Some 50 borough residents gathered at a meeting of the Borough Council Oct. 27 to contend that fireworks set off during recent Diwali celebrations were illegal and endangered their homes and well-being during the 12 days of the Hindu observance... Neighbors in attendance at the meeting described being awakened at 6 a.m. Sunday when the fireworks began and seeing dozens of vehicles crowding the streets, which they feel could have prevented access of emergency vehicles. They also said the presence of many out-of-state vehicles led them to believe that worshippers traveled from all over to attend the observance in the borough, contributing to the over-flow of vehicles on local streets... According to Mayor Kennedy O’Brien and Bertrand, temple trustees had been working with the borough for over a month to work out traffic issues and regulations. The temple trustees applied for a permit to discharge fireworks, though they received conflicting messages about the requirements. One of the most troubling aspects of the situation, according to Bertrand, was that trustees were not informed of the requirements for the permit up front, resulting in their inability to comply."