By Arun Kumar
WASHINGTON– Ten US lawmakers including the lone Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera and the only Hindu-American lawmaker Tulsi Gabbard joined “Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists across the world” in celebrating Diwali.
Bera, Democratic co-chair of Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, noted that last week almost 1,000 people came together in Washington to “celebrate the largest ever Congressional Diwali to recognize who we are as a community and what we have accomplished together.”
“Diwali is celebrated by nearly a billion people around the world and more than two million people in the US,” he said and “I look forward to continuing to grow this celebration and wish all who are celebrating this week a Happy Diwali.”
Gabbard, who represents Hawaii in the US House, said: “Diwali represents the victory of light over darkness, truth over untruth, righteousness over wrong. “Let it inspire us to set aside our differences, and find ways to work together towards the greater and common good.”
“No matter who we are, no matter what our race, religion, economic status, gender, age, or any other material consideration, each of us can use our lives in the loving service of God and of mankind, according to our own abilities,” she said.
“So as we light our lamps for Diwali, let us light the lamps of love for God within our hearts. Let us share the light of His unconditional love for us, and celebrate Diwali by doing what we can to bring about positive change in the world,” Gabbard added.
Grace Meng, who represents New York, reaffirmed her call for the creation of a Diwali postage stamp, an initiative she has pushed the US Postal Service (USPS) on with Representive Carolyn Maloney and others. She also wanted a school holiday created for Diwali in New York City.
Judy Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), said: “I am proud to join millions in the United States and around the world in celebrating Diwali this week.”
“As we light up our diyas and share in this joyous festival with family and friends, we are reminded that this holiday is a time to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.”
“As Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I wish everyone celebrating Diwali my best wishes and Saal Mubarak!” she stated.
Other CAPAC members who issued statements on Diwali included: Michael Honda, CAPAC Chair Emeritus, Xavier Becerra, House Democratic Caucus Chairman, Barbara Lee, Ted Lieu, Loretta Sanchez and Chris Van Hollen.