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Diwali 2021: Biden Govt Officials Celebrate Festival Of Lights With Indian Diaspora In DC

United States' lawmakers and top officials of the White House celebrated Diwali with members of the Indian diaspora at Capitol Hill.

Joe Biden

Image: Twitter/@RepMaloney/@IndiasporaForum

United States' lawmakers and top officials of the White House celebrated Diwali with Indian diaspora on Capitol Hill. The Diwali celebration at Capitol Hill was organised by Indiaspora. During the programme, the diaspora honoured some of the top Indian Americans in the US President Joe Biden's administration, according to ANI. The top Indian Americans who were honoured included Vice Admiral Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and Neera Tanden, Senior Advisor and Staff Secretary to President Biden. 

US lawmakers and top officials celebrate Diwali

During the celebration, the traditional 'Diya' was lightened and several lawmakers made their remarks. Congressman Ami Bera, Pramila Jayapal, Congressman Ro Khanna and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi addressed the community members. Speaking to ANI, Ami Bera highlighted that the Diwali celebration is not only about Indian Americans but also the members of the Congress, which includes both Republicans and Democrats.

"As an Indian American to see the Diwali celebrations getting bigger at the Hill, is not just about Indian Americans but also members of the Congress both Republicans and Democrats. Diwali is about coming together and enlightenment, that's something to remember," Congressman Ami Bera told ANI. 

An interfaith prayer service took place during the programme that had members of Congress in attendance. In a tweet,  Indiaspora informed that Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney told them about her efforts to get Diwali recognised as a federal holiday in the US, according to ANI. Singer Mary Millben was also part of the celebrations at Capitol Hill. She sang the 'Om Jai Jagdish Hare' aarti rendition for the community with others hymning too. Millben told ANI that she has a "strong relationship" with the people of India. Furthermore, she mentioned that she loved the culture of India and was "delighted" to be part of the Diwali celebration. 

Congressman James Clyburn, Steve Chabot, Congresswoman Judy Chu and Carolyn Maloney lauded the efforts of Indian Americans in the development of the US. M R Rangaswami, founder of Indiaspora told ANI that the Indian Americans, African Americans, Chinese Americans, mainstream American Congressman participated in the celebration with Indian Americans. Vice Admiral Surgeon General Vivek Murthy highlighted the importance of Diwali which is about "light overcoming darkness" and he was "grateful" to be part of the celebration. He raised the concern that in the present time, there's an "invisible pandemic" which is the "pandemic of polarisation".

"But one of the things that concerns me most about the last few years is another type of pandemic, the invisible pandemic that we are in the midst of. That's a pandemic of polarisation where it feels increasingly people have turned against each other, where they have demonised one another, called each other evil and treated each other as so. That's a particular kind of darkness," ANI quoted Vivek Murthy as saying.

Inputs from ANI

Image: Twitter/@RepMaloney/@IndiasporaForum

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