Steve Cornwell

A proposal to temporarily allow Mississauga temples to broadcast Hindu hymns has been endorsed by the city’s diversity and inclusion committee.

Mississauga’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (DIAC) voted to support a proposal to ease noise bylaws, allowing Hindu hymns to be played by temples for five minutes, once a day at 7 p.m. between Aug. 11 and Sept. 1.

DIAC, which is a 15-person committee advising Mississauga council on matters of diversity and discrimination, voted unanimously to approve the proposal at its Aug. 6 meeting, according to city spokesperson Catherine Monast.

The meeting was an online teleconference but was not streamed by the city. Video of the meeting will also not be posted, Monast said.

“At this time a number of committees including DIAC are not currently streamed and so (the meeting) would not be posted,” she wrote in an email.

City council will still have to approve the proposal in order to go forward, and has scheduled a special meeting on Monday, Aug. 10.

The proposal was put forward by Hindu Forum Canada, a Mississauga-based organization that aims to “counter false Hindu-phobia,” according to its website.

In April, Mississauga council voted to temporarily ease noise bylaws to allow mosques in the city to broadcast the call to prayer, also called the Azan, once a day during Ramadan.

Hindu Forum Canada opposed allowing the call to prayer in the city, calling it “a violation of our secular values that dictate the separation of religious and political propensities,” in May press release.

In their letter to Mississauga council proposing to allow the Hindu hymns, the organization said the move would be a “source of comfort, especially to the seniors who are at a greater risk of infection by COVID-19 and are unable to leave their homes.”

If approved by council, the brief daily broadcasts would occur over three Hindu festivals, Krishna Janmashtami on Aug. 11, Ganesh Chaturthi on Aug. 22 and Onam on Aug. 31.

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