The Khasi Jaintia Christian Leaders Forum (KJCLF) on October 23, clarified its position on government-organised festivals. In an official press statement, the forum emphasised that it is not opposed to the festivals organised by the state government, however, it is resolute in its stance that Sunday remains a sacred and holy day for Christians and Churches.
The KJCLF further expressed its desire for festivals to be celebrated with a spirit of peace and community participation. “The Forum wishes that the Festivals be celebrated with peace and community participation and that it is free from any disruptions or disturbances to promote peace and harmony in the State,” the statement read.
Notably, the Joint Action Committee, comprised of various organisations, including RBYO, HYC, RBF, MPF, MPSO, and STIEH, had earlier called upon the government to reschedule or move the concluding day of the Cherry Blossom festival away from Sunday.
Tourism Minister Paul Lyngdoh responded to these calls with a strong statement, highlighting the diversity of religious beliefs. He argued that while Christians hold Sunday as holy, the Seventh-Day Adventists observe Saturday, and Muslims consider Friday sacred. This, he contended, leaves no day of the week that can be universally agreed upon for holding the festival.
This difference of opinion between those who want to protect Sunday as a holy day for Christians and those who want to continue festivals on existing schedules is an ongoing topic of discussion in the state. The KJCLF supports festivals but aims to preserve the sanctity of Sunday for Christians while promoting peace and unity among all residents.