MPP Anand’s sixth Members’ Statement was on the topic of “Diwali”, delivered on 1 November 2018. 

See full transcript below:

“Today I’ll be talking about Diwali, the festival of light, which is celebrated by over 1.1 billion Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains around the world.

It is a day of hope and new beginnings for Hindus, who believe that the goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, will enter their clean homes. Businessmen open new accounts. This is the time people offer prayers for health, prosperity and, most importantly, wealth.

Through Ramayana, a festival reinforces the idea that good prevails over evil. The day is also celebrated as Bandi Chhor Divas, a prisoner liberation day when the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, was liberated from Gwalior Fort and took 52 prisoners to freedom along with him.

The lighting of candles is especially significant. It refers to knowledge, wisdom and prosperity, and the prevalence of knowledge and wisdom over ignorance.

Diwali—and not only Diwali; every festival—isn’t and should not be only about firecrackers, new clothes or sharing gifts or sweets. The true essence of Diwali is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, a Sanskrit phrase which means, “The world is one family,” and it should be about celebrating together with everyone.

This Diwali, let’s spread the light and joy not only to friends and family but reach out to everyone, especially those who are less fortunate. I sincerely hope that this Diwali brings you, us, and everyone endless joy, good health and prosperity. I wish everyone happy Diwali.”