IAC Diwali/Deepavali message 2018
(Press Release) The Indian Action Committee (IAC) extends Diwali greetings to all Guyanese, especially persons who are adherents of Sanatana Dharma on the occasion of the now globally-recognised festival of Deepavali or Diwali, which is derived from the Sanskrit language and means “a row of lights”. Diwali falls on the new moon night of the month of Kartika and is celebrated over a period of five days in India.
The IAC is pleased to observe that the major Hindu Sabhas of Guyana have agreed upon one date for the celebration of the festival of Diwali in 2018.
Diwali is associated with several mythological stories, one of them dealing with the belief of Hindus that, on the day of Diwali, Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana, King of Lanka, and that the people of Ayodhya celebrated his return by lighting thousands of diyas.
The IAC recognizes that in Guyana the Goddess Lakshmi Maataa or Maha Lakshmi is venerated on the day of Diwali, her devotees ardently believing that their veneration of her will result in wealth and prosperity being bestowed upon them in the future.
The bright lights of Diwali are believed, by Hindus, to guide and welcome Lakshmi Maataa into their homes where she can bestow her blessings on them and their families, and also to guide and welcome Lord Rama back to Ayodhya.
The bright lights of Diwali are also considered to signify the illuminatory power of knowledge which destroys the darkness of ignorance and also to represent the triumph of good over evil.
The IAC recognizes that at this time in Guyana, when persons should be happily celebrating the festival of Diwali, they are tens of thousands of Guyanese citizens living in desperate and punishing conditions since the collapse of the economy, especially the virtual destruction of the sugar industry which has seen over seven thousand former Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc. dislocated sugar workers and their families living precariously.
Members of the IAC visited rural areas on the night of Diwali 2017 and noticed that many residences that were brightly lit in previous years were reduced to having only one diiyaa at their front gate signifying severe economic stress; and many residences which were lit, had significantly reduced amounts of diiyaas which also reflected the downturn on the economy.
The IAC has noted that growing economic stress is affecting the vast majority of Guyanese, especially those who are living in rural areas.
The IAC is fully cognizant of the plight of all of these distressed Guyanese and is calling for the Government and the Opposition to work together to restore economic growth in Guyana and thus mitigate the troubles affecting these citizens regardless of class, religious persuasion, ethnicity and political allegiance.
The IAC calls upon all Guyanese to respect the sanctity of Diwali and engage in appropriate and fitting observances and activities.