President-elect Joe Biden, President Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris greeted Indian Americans and Indians all over the world on the occasion of Diwali.
“To the millions of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists celebrating the Festival of Lights, @DrBiden and I send our best wishes for a #HappyDiwali. May your new year be filled with hope, happiness, and prosperity. Sal Mubarak,” Biden tweeted.
Harris, who will be the first Indian American vice president, tweeted: “Happy Diwali and Sal Mubarak! @DouglasEmhoff and I wish everyone celebrating around the world a safe, healthy, and joyous new year.”
President Donald Trump also posted a ‘Happy Diwali’ photo on Twitter – probably from the 2019 celebration that showed him lighting a diya at the White House – to send his well wishes to those celebrating the festival.
Biden and Harris also sent out a joint statement on Diwali which stated that they look forward to celebrating the festival at the White House next year — “in person, together with you, and in a nation healed and united.”
“On behalf of our families, we wish a happy Diwali to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, and everyone celebrating the festival of lights across the United States, India, and the world,” they stated in a press release. “Like so many cherished traditions during the pandemic, we know this year’s Diwali and its symbolizing of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and empathy over apathy arrives with a deeper meaning.”
While acknowledging the devastation caused by the pandemic and the role of frontline heroes, the duo added: “But Diwali is ultimately a reminder of the light that’s within us all to hope and dream, and to overcome our differences and keep the faith in each other. That’s the light we see shining on this day and that will guide us through the darkness with knowledge, science, truth, unity, and compassion.
Joining them were dozens of U.S. lawmakers who pointed out the significance of the festival: the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness.
“Light will always overcome darkness,” tweeted California Governor Gavin Newsom. “Today, we celebrate the power of hope over despair. Happy Diwali to all those celebrating!”
“Happy Diwali to all who celebrate. While celebrating will be different this year, I hope this holiday brings you light, joy and peace,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“Happy Diwali to all those celebrating the Festival of Lights around the world and in the great State of Texas,” tweeted Governor Greg Abbott of Texas.
“Wishing a happy Diwali to everyone celebrating the Festival of Lights in New York, across America, and around the world, and Saal Mubarak to everyone ringing in the New Year!” said Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer.
“Joining millions in New Jersey and around the world lighting lamps today as we celebrate #Diwali. These tiny flames illuminate the darkness and symbolize our common pursuit of light, knowledge and goodness. Sending my warmest wishes for a safe and happy holiday,” said Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Congressman Jim McGovern said Diwali is a powerful reminder that light, love, truth, and compassion will always prevail. “And that each of us must do our part to achieve that victory by dedicating our lives to serving others and uplifting those around us. Happy Diwali, Massachusetts!” he said.
“Happy Diwali to all those celebrating! May this time be a reminder that light always wins over darkness,” tweeted Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
“Happy Diwali to all! May we win in the fight of good over evil, light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance. May Goddess Lakshmi shower blessings upon you this new year. I look forward to lighting the diya lamps in Richmond Hill tonight,” said Jenifer Rajkumar, New York State Assemblywoman-elect.
“Happy Diwali to all Angelenos who celebrate the Festival of Lights. Though we can’t gather in person this year, I hope you find a way to safely mark the changing of the seasons. In these hard times, we know love and light will guide us towards a better and brighter future,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Other officials who sent out greetings included Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Jeff Merkley and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.