Led by American Indian lawmakers, high-ranking members of the Biden administration and a select group of Indian community members from across the country gathered to celebrate the Festival of Lights, “Diwali,” in the United States Congress on temple of democracy.
Reflecting on the emergence of this small but influential community in the American socio-political spectrum, lawmakers hailed the contribution of American Indians to the development of the United States and underlined the importance of Diwali in a post-Covid-19 world. .
“We have been, for almost two years, in the midst of a pandemic that has changed our lives. Many of us, including myself, have suffered the loss of family and friends. I know many of us you have done it too, whether it is family here, family in India, the diaspora or the whole world. We have suffered heavy losses, “said US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy during the event.
“But one of the things that worries me the most over the past few years is another type of pandemic, the invisible pandemic we are in the midst of. It’s a polarization pandemic where it seems more and more people turned on each other, where they “We demonized ourselves, called ourselves bad guys, and treated ourselves like that. It’s a special kind of darkness, ”he said.
The Capitol Hill Diwali celebration was organized by Indiaspora in association with several community organizations.
Remembering his mother’s teachings, Dr Murthy said that Diwali is meant to be a day when light conquers darkness.
“She always said to Vivek, the people you meet in America will come from different religions and traditions. But remember that the light of God always exists in all of them, no matter where they come from,” he said. he declares.
“When I think of Diwali, I think of it in this context. Can we remember the light that exists within us and each other? Can’t we allow it? Can’t we allow that light be erased because we are on the other side of the political spectrum like someone else or have different opinions from them. This is as much of a challenge here as it is in India and in many countries of the world. world, ”said Dr Murthy.
Members of the Indo-American Congress Dr Ami Bera, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal addressed the assembly and greeted the community on the occasion.
“I am very proud to say that I am the first South Asian woman ever to be elected to the United States House of Representatives. I hope I will not be the last and there will be many, many more to come,” he said. Jayapal said. The MP also said the past three months have been difficult for her and her family.
Congresswoman Judy Chu said President Joe Biden appointed a record number of American Indians to his administration.
“President Biden ushers in a new era for Asian Americans, especially the representation of American Indians. For example, he appointed Dr. Vivek Murthy to be part of his office as surgeon general. last, he made the historic decision to appoint Neera Tanden as White House personnel secretary, one of the most senior positions in the White House, ”she said.
“And of course, just over a year ago, we shattered one of the highest glass ceilings of all when Kamala Harris, the daughter of an Indian immigrant, was sworn in as the first Asian woman and black vice-president of history, ”she said.
Popular African-American singer Mary Milben, who came specially from California to attend the Diwali celebrations, mesmerized the selected audience with her rendition of “Om Jai Jagdish Hare” which went viral last year. Milben has announced that she will be traveling to India next January.
“India has truly become my family and friends. So it is a joy to be here in the nation’s capital to celebrate this wonderful, spiritual and beautiful holiday that so many speakers have already spoken about. time for cultures and religions to come together and celebrate during this time: light on dark the beauty of this beautiful holiday, ”said Milben.