British Parliament celebrates Diwali at a cross-party event
(L to R) Navendu Mishra MP, Virendra Sharma MP, Shailesh Vara MP, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Nila Madhava Das, and Visakha Dasi.
The festival of lights, Diwali, was celebrated at the British parliament during a cross-part event at the speaker’s state rooms on Monday, 24 October.
Speaker Lindsay Hoyle MP hosted the event with MPs Shailesh Vara, Navendu Mishra, Virendra Sharma, and Lord Navnit Dholakia and welcomed many guests to mark the important festival celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains all over the world.
Visakha Dasi, president of the Hare Krishna Temple at Bhaktivedanta Manor, recited prayers in the presence of guests which included Sujit Ghosh, deputy high commissioner for India,Nimisha Madhvani, high commissioner for Uganda, and Gyan Chandra Acharya, high commissioner for Nepal.
The event was also organised last year but saw very limited participations due to the restrictions placed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vara gave a speech at the event mentioning the importance of Diwali to Hindus across the world and the significance of its message of peace.
He said, “I am very pleased that so many people were able to join us to celebrate Diwali in Parliament. The UK Parliament represents all communities and faiths in the UK, and it is therefore particularly significant that Hindus are able to celebrate Diwali here too.
“The message of peace is universal, and it is important that we continue to convey its importance, especially at this time of Diwali.”
Sharma mentioned, “Bringing the Parliamentary community together to celebrate this special time of year is always a pleasure. I am very grateful to the Speaker for hosting us again in his State Apartments, and want to wish everyone celebrating a very Happy Diwali.”
Mishra commented, “It was wonderful to co-host Diwali prayers and celebration in the Palace of Westminster alongside fellow MPs, and a pleasure to invite dignitaries and distinguished guests. “I’m truly grateful to speaker for once again allowing us to use the State Rooms to host this auspicious event. I look forward to next year!”