UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the Diwali spirit of the victory of sunshine over darkness and good over evil as he delivered a message of optimism about overcoming the coronavirus pandemic for a first-of-its-kind digital Diwali pageant this weekend.
Prime Minister Johnson appealed for an enormous collective effort as England entered its second stay-at-home lockdown earlier this week, to final no less than till December 2, so as to curb a surge in coronavirus infections throughout the nation.
“While undoubtedly there are huge challenges ahead, I have every confidence in the resilience and resolve and good sense of people across the country and that together we will overcome this virus, just as Diwali teaches us that light triumphs over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance,” Boris Johnson stated from 10 Downing Street in London on Friday.
“Just as Lord Rama and his wife Sita found their way home after the defeat of the demon king Ravana, their way lit by many millions of lamps, so too we shall find our way through this, and we shall do so triumphantly,” he stated.
Acknowledging that folks would discover it notably tough this 12 months with all of the lockdown restrictions, Johnson praised the Indian group within the UK for all their sacrifices and efforts at working in the direction of a secure and safe Diwali.
He praised the “fantastic virtual Diwali festival” for bringing the spirit of Diwali into individuals’s properties whereas serving to individuals keep secure.
“I know that celebrating at a distance isn’t easy when you want to get together with all your family or visit your friends or share with them the Diwali fun, as well of course the odd samosa or gulab jamun,” he stated in his inaugural tackle to the ‘iGlobal Diwali Fest 2020’.
“So I want you to know that your sacrifices, and your determination to do the right thing really are helping to save lives, and tough though I know many aspects of this year have been, I have been blown away by the inspirational way in which Hindus, Sikhs and Jains have responded to this crisis with compassion, community spirit and a can-do attitude,” he stated.
The three-day digital Diwali Fest kick-started on Friday with the UK PM’s message and can embody classes with UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, Opposition Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer and Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey.
The agenda additionally consists of yoga, music and dance performances in addition to an awards ceremony to honour British Indian group champions throughout totally different fields. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street will likely be amongst these delivering Diwali messages from totally different elements of England.
“The Prime Minister, leaders of the primary UK political events and the Mayors of the nation’s main metros lining up for Diwali on this approach is sort of unprecedented and displays not solely the true depth of UK-India ties but in addition the pivotal function of the UK’s 1.5-million robust Indian group, stated Manoj Ladwa, CEO of the India Inc Group, the UK-based organiser of the occasion.
Among a number of the different digital occasions scheduled over the weekend embody a religious session with Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, bhajans from totally different elements of India and a Bollywood live performance headlined by British Indian musician Navin Kundra.
Diwali – the pageant of lights – will likely be celebrated in India and internationally on November 14.
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