Public relations officer of the National Council for Indian Culture (NCIC) Surujdeo Mangaroo is calling on the nation to celebrate Divali with spirituality and fellowship.
This is the second consecutive year the NCIC was unable to host Divali Nagar, with its usual splendour and mass audience gathered at the site in Chaguanas, because of the pandemic.
“Notwithstanding this unusual delay, we must continuously allow the light of the deyas to blossom and glow in our hearts, for the message of Divali is not really an outside feature but an inward posture,” Mangaroo said in his Divali message.
“Divali this year will not be different from previous ones, except there will be no mass celebrations, parades or the like, but it must give us the time and the opportunity to isolate ourselves from the trappings of worldly activities and focus on the true reality and rationale of our lives.”
He observed in the past, “Divali has always led us to into the trappings of mass materialism, spurred us into ignorance and allowed us to ignore the cries of the needy, the poor, the helpless and the sick.”
This time around, he said, “We must continue to develop hope and rebuild the sanity both in ourselves, and in our society “We have to develop and accept everyone as integral members of the human fraternity, and therefore to embrace differences one needs to respect and be tolerant of the other person.
“Respect means to listen carefully when another speaks without interrupting, or putting him down because each of us has a point of view wrapped with wisdom and knowledge.”
He said being tolerant, respectful of the differences of attitudes certainly opens up a path of communication, whereas being intolerant closes it.
“Therefore, being tolerant and respectful make us become more creative.”
He shared some thoughts on the origins of Divali, but noted different religions and cultures, from time immemorial, have respected the eternal flame of the light as the guiding force to create a new civilisation and ultimately a new humanity.
“We have mapped the entire earth and becoming very successful in mapping the universe as far as science allows us, yet we have not become successful in taming the human mind and spirit to create a better world.
“Read the newspapers and look at the television, and you would decide how far we are from living in peace, concord and harmony.”
He said the NCIC will continue to plan and execute its programmes aimed at enhancing the spirit of true humanitarianism and extolling the precepts of Hinduism in the years ahead, especially in its flagship observance, Divali Nagar.
“It will give us the courage and tenacity to continue with great strength and wisdom to embark on the path which would give all of us—the multiracial and multicultural—composite of this land, a renewed inner strength and inspiration.
“Let us continue to invoke the blessings of Mother Lakshmi to give us as a people and a nation for continued prosperity, peace, respect, understanding and proper governance in Trinidad and Tobago.
“On behalf of the President Dr Deokinanan Sharma and members of the board of directors, I wish you a blessed and safe Divali.”