Congress celebrates Diwali with lighting of Diyas

WASHINGTON (TIP): The US Congress on Tuesday, October 29, celebrated Diwali for the first time in its long history by lighting the traditional ‘diyas” and chanting of mantras by a Hindu priest with 25-odd lawmakers and influential Indian- Americans taking part in the event. “I have come here to say Happy Diwali. The United States owes a great debt of gratitude to India‚ĶThis is a truly historic event,” remarked Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker and currently Leader of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives. Congressmen Joe Crowley and Peter Roskam, co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, had taken the initiative for celebrating the event on Capitol Hill. The lawmakers were welcomed with jasmine garlands, traditional shawls, tilak et al. As Congressman Crowley put it, this inaugural event will “set a precedent for Congressional Diwali celebrations for decades to come”. Tulsi Gabbard, the first-ever Hindu Congresswoman, called it a “celebration of righteousness”. Ami Bera, the only Indian American in Congress, wanted to see the “deepening of this relationship as we move forward”.

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