Hindu Council, UK
The Diwali lamp was lit at St. Pauls Cathedral as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, spoke of the Hindu festival of lights in a remembrance service to commemorate the victims of 7/7 bombings in London.
Anil Bhanot, General Secretary of Hindu Council UK (HCUK), said the Archbishop himself has shown through his words today the practical workings of the Diwali message, ?light over darkness?. After Lord Rama'svictory over evil it was not occupation that followed, rather a process of integration and respect, a synthesis instead of an assimilation, of two different cultures and two distinct nations, albeit one victorious and the other defeated.
The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, read a message at St. Pauls to say that whilst we belong to different faith traditions we commit ourselves to fostering the mutual trust that may flourish on the basis of respect and understanding. Anil Bhanot and all the other faith leaders joined the Bishop in saying: ?We pledge ourselves to work together to make this goal an enduring reality.? Anil Bhanot said this pledge is actually the true message of Diwali. Suraj Sehgal, HCUK Defence Chair, remembering the 7/7 victims, said on October 29 a similiar tragedy occurred in Delhi and we pray that the families will find solace at this Diwali in the hope that light will ultimately overcome darkness.
Dr Jagdish Sharma, HCUK Chairman, said this is the only festival that is celebrated by a multitude of faiths, including Hindu Sanatan Dharma, Arya, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh and even Zoroastrian.
The network is further enhanced in the socio-political field through representations by Hindu youth, different state communities from India, and other countries with significant Hindu representation, including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mauritius and the Caribbean.