Hindus have applauded reports of United States President Barack Obama celebrating Diwali with community leaders and administration officials on October 28 in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building located next door to White House in Washington DC.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Hindu community worldwide felt honored by Obama’s active participation in Diwali and urged heads of state of all countries of the world to be a part in the Diwali celebrations in their respective countries.
“It is a step in the right direction”, Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out. He also urged the US Postal Service to launch a Diwali postage stamp and asked the school districts with large Hindu populations to declare Diwali as school holiday so that families could celebrate Diwali together.
“While previous administrations have observed the holiday, President Obama is the first to participate personally each year. He and the First Lady celebrated the holiday in India last year as the Vice President led the commemoration back here in DC”, according to a White House announcement.
“I was proud to be the first President to mark Diwali and light the Diya at the White House”, a statement attributed to Obama on White House website says.
White House has also invited the public to share their favorite Diwali memories with them on Twitter and is hosting a “Diwali Twitter event” on October 28.
From the White House to your house, we join with the President in wishing you and yours a Happy Diwali!…To all who are observing this sacred holiday here and around the world, Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak, White House website states.
A blog posted on White House website by Deputy Chief of Staff at the Corporation for National and Community Service, says: “I am proud to serve for an Administration that espouses these same Hindu values and demonstrates them every day…”
The Eisenhower Executive Office Building is located next to the West Wing, and houses a majority of offices for White House staff.
Most popular of Hindu festivals Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.