Australia’s Tasmania House of Assembly denies Hindu opening prayer request

A Hindu leader has been denied the request to read the opening prayer of Tasmania House of Assembly of Australia.

Clerk of the House of Assembly Peter Alcock, in a response to the request of Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said in a communiqué: “The Speaker of the House is the authorised person to say the prayer each day. There is no provision for any other Member or any other person to do so. This may only be changed by a majority vote of the House”.

The Speaker upon taking the Chair each day reads the same prayer, part of which is “Lord's Prayer”, a well-known prayer in Christianity.

Zed’s request for the Speaker to read at one session the Hindu prayer supplied by him in addition to daily prayer the Speaker reads each day was also not accepted.

Any change to “Standing Order 32” (which talks about prayer) or addition to that would need to be by a majority vote of the House, Rajan Zed was informed.

Michael Robert Polley is the Speaker of Tasmania House of Assembly which has 25 members. Nobel Prize winner molecular-biologist Elizabeth Blackburn was born in Tasmania, second oldest Australian settlement established in 1803 also known as "island of inspiration". Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.