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We will overcome this virus: UK PM hails victory of good over evil Diwali spirit – Times of India


LONDON: 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 competition this weekend.
Johnson appealed for a “huge collective effort” as England entered its second stay-at-home lockdown earlier this week, to final at the very least 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,” said Johnson from 10 Downing Street in London on Friday.
“Just as Lord Rama and his spouse Sita discovered their approach house after the defeat of the demon king Ravana, their approach lit by many hundreds of thousands of lamps, so too we will discover our approach via this, and we will achieve this triumphantly,” he said.
Acknowledging that people would find it particularly difficult this year with all the lockdown restrictions, Johnson praised the Indian diaspora in the UK for all their sacrifices and efforts at working towards a safe and secure Diwali.
He praised the “improbable digital Diwali competition” for bringing the spirit of Diwali into people’s homes while helping people stay safe.
“I do know that celebrating at a distance is not simple once you need to get along with all your loved ones or go to your mates or share with them the Diwali enjoyable, as nicely after all the odd samosa or gulab jamun,” mentioned Johnson, in his inaugural handle 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 said.
The three-day virtual Diwali Fest kick-started on Friday with the UK PM’s message and will include sessions with UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, Opposition Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer and Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey.
The agenda also includes yoga, music and dance performances as well as an awards ceremony to honour British Indian community champions across different fields. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street will be among those delivering Diwali messages from different parts of England.
“The Prime Minister, leaders of the primary UK political events and the Mayors of the country‘s main metros lining up for Diwali on this approach is sort of unprecedented and displays not solely the actual depth of UK-India ties but additionally the pivotal position of the UK’s 1.5-million sturdy Indian diaspora,” mentioned Manoj Ladwa, CEO of the India Inc Group, the UK-based organiser of the occasion.
Among a few of the different digital occasions scheduled over the weekend embrace a non secular 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 competition of lights — shall be celebrated in India on November 14.

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