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 at the least till December 2, to be able to curb a surge in coronavirus infections throughout the nation.
“Whereas undoubtedly there are big challenges forward, I’ve each confidence within the resilience and resolve and good sense of individuals throughout the nation and that collectively we are going to overcome this virus, simply as Diwali teaches us that gentle triumphs over darkness, good over evil, information over ignorance,” Boris Johnson mentioned from 10 Downing Avenue in London on Friday.
“Simply as Lord Rama and his spouse Sita discovered their approach residence after the defeat of the demon king Ravana, their approach lit by many thousands and thousands of lamps, so too we will discover our approach by means of this, and we will accomplish that triumphantly,” he mentioned.
Acknowledging that individuals would discover it significantly troublesome this yr with all of the lockdown restrictions, Johnson praised the Indian neighborhood within the UK for all their sacrifices and efforts at working in direction of a protected and safe Diwali.
He praised the “implausible digital Diwali pageant” for bringing the spirit of Diwali into individuals’s properties whereas serving to individuals keep protected.
“I do know that celebrating at a distance is not simple while you need to get along with all your loved ones or go to your mates or share with them the Diwali enjoyable, as nicely in fact the odd samosa or gulab jamun,” he mentioned in his inaugural handle to the ‘iGlobal Diwali Fest 2020’.
“So I need you to know that your sacrifices, and your willpower to do the suitable factor actually are serving to to save lots of lives, and difficult although I do know many elements of this yr have been, I’ve been blown away by the inspirational approach by which Hindus, Sikhs and Jains have responded to this disaster with compassion, neighborhood spirit and a can-do angle,” he mentioned.
The three-day digital Diwali Fest kick-started on Friday with the UK PM’s message and can embody periods with UK Dwelling Secretary Priti Patel, Opposition Labour Celebration Chief Keir Starmer and Liberal Democrat Chief Ed Davey.
The agenda additionally contains yoga, music and dance performances in addition to an awards ceremony to honour British Indian neighborhood champions throughout completely different fields. Better Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and West Midlands Mayor Andy Avenue shall be amongst these delivering Diwali messages from completely different elements of England.
“The Prime Minister, leaders of the principle 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 actual depth of UK-India ties but additionally the pivotal function of the UK’s 1.5-million sturdy Indian neighborhood, mentioned Manoj Ladwa, CEO of the India Inc Group, the UK-based organiser of the occasion.
Amongst among the different digital occasions scheduled over the weekend embody a non secular session with Artwork of Dwelling Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, bhajans from completely different elements of India and a Bollywood live performance headlined by British Indian musician Navin Kundra.
Diwali – the pageant of lights – shall be celebrated in India and internationally on November 14.
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