Hindus have applauded the US First Lady Michelle Obama for celebrating Diwali with community members on 5th November in the White House at Washington DC. Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Hindu community worldwide felt honoured by Michelle Obama’s active participation in Diwali and urged heads of state and their spouses in all countries of the world to be a part in the Diwali celebrations in their respective countries.
“It is a step in the right direction”, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out. He also urged the US Postal Service to launch a Diwali postage stamp and asked the school districts with large Hindu populations to declare Diwali as school holiday so that families could celebrate Diwali together.
Rajan Zed thanked Michelle Obama for remembering the victims of last year’s violence at Sikh Temple of Wisconsin—Oak Creek in her speech on the occasion.
Michelle Obama also lit the traditional diya (lamp) on the occasion while a Hindu priest recited Sanskrit mantras. She reportedly tried some Bollywood dance moves herself with Bollywood music at the Bollywood dance clinic in the State Dining Room besides speaking during a reception in the East Room of White House.
In a Diwali statement, US President Barack Obama said, here in the United States, Diwali also reminds us that our nation is home to many faiths and traditions, and that our diversity makes us stronger.
Diwali, the festival of lights and the most popular Hindu festival aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus residing in USA.