Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, in her address to the nation on Divali, urged citizens to take action against the evil in ourselves and in the country.
She said the story of the emergence of Lakshmi is the eternal message that although the forces of good and evil continuously struggle with each other, with cooperation and unity, good eventually prevails.
“Divali is an annual reminder that evil can and will be defeated. However, effort is required. We cannot sit back and be a spectator to our plight. A willingness to take action is fundamental to change and eventual success. If we do nothing, we will continue to be willing victims of evil men and women.”
She said the gods had to churn the ocean of milk using a great mountain and the snake Vasuki to secure the jar containing the nectar of immortality to regain their powers. When this was done, a deadly poison first emerged, then the jar and mother Lakshmi. As such, she said individuals and the nation should churn their minds and expel evil.
“Now more than ever, the hope of restoration which the gods had, and the fact that they eventually defeated evil, must be our hope in order to restore this nation to one of goodness, beauty and prosperity.”
With the triumph of evil in mind, Persad-Bissessar said the nation should be hopeful that their prayers would be answered and their faith would not be in vain. “We are at a time in our country when we need to remember that good will always be victorious, that hope and love triumph over darkness and despair.”
She said festivals such as Divali, Eid-ul-Fitr and Christmas brought joy and hope and a feeling of togetherness in families and communities. This, she said, was achieved through the festivals’ cultural aspects including food, music and dance.
“Our nation comes to life with each festival, and the joy that we experience at these times helps us cope with the stresses of daily living and reminds us that we are capable of being joyful human beings.”