Recognising the religious and historical significance of Diwali, Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has introduced a resolution in the US House of Representatives recognising the festival of lights for the diaspora.
Introduced on October 20, the resolution got support from five other lawmakers. It was co-sponsored by Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Tulsi Gabbard, Ami Bera and Joe Crowley and has been sent to the House Foreign Relations Committee for necessary action.
While Bera, Jayapal, and Khanna are Indian-American lawmakers, Gabbard is the first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress and Crowley is a top Democratic Congressman.
Krishnamoorthi talked about the importance of the festival amongst Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, and how it spreads a message of goodness.
“I’m proud to introduce this resolution recognising Diwali’s religious and historical significance for millions of Indian-Americans,” Krishnamoorthi said.
The resolution recognises and appreciates the religious diversity in the US, India, and around the world. It expresses its “deepest respect” for Indian-Americans and the Indian diaspora across the globe. It acknowledges and supports the relationship of collaboration and respect between the two countries.
Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and co-chair Bob Paduchik also wished the “Hindu, Jain and Sikh friends a happy festival of lights”.
“During the festival, we hope those who celebrate are surrounded by family and friends as they practice the religious traditions of this meaningful holiday,” she said.
“The lightening of Diya (or lamp) on Diwali is a joyful celebration of the triumphant victory of light over darkness. We as Republicans embrace and continue to support religious freedom in our great country and encourage sharing these traditions with our very diverse communities,” McDaniel said.
Congressman Gregory W Meeks recognised Diwali as the “boldest, brightest, and the most widely-observed Hindu festival”.
“Diwali affords individuals … an occasion to reflect on what they are doing to enlighten, to open, and to lift themselves, their families, neighbours, friends, communities, and country into the bright light of peace, progress, and prosperity for all people and all nations,” he said.
“This is why Diwali is for everyone to let the light of awareness shine within themselves and from themselves outward to others,” Ms Meeks added.
Another Congressman John Sarbanes said, “By lighting the Diya, Diwali reminds us that the good will eventually outlast evil, that knowledge will triumph over ignorance.”
“To all those who are joining in this observance, I wish you and your families a wonderful and heartwarming celebration,” he said.
This year, was the first time that many members of the Congress celebrated Diwali in the US Capitol.