Imran Khan wishes
Hindu community a
‘Happy Diwali’

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday felicitated Hindus in the country on their festive occasion of Diwali. “Wishing all our Hindu community a Happy Diwali,” he wrote in a tweet.

The Hindu community in Pakistan is celebrating the five-day ‘festival of lights’ with fervour across the country. The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees protection of the rights of all minorities, including freedom to practice their religious rites.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, at several occasions, has shared his vision of transforming the country in line with the State of Medina where all the people including minorities have the freedom to enjoy their civic, social and religious rights.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday felicitated Hindus in the country on their festive occasion of Diwali.

Diwali is the five-day Festival of Lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. Diwali, which for some also coincides with harvest and new year celebrations, is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.

This year Diwali takes place over five days from 2 November to 6 November with the main day of celebration on Thursday 4 November.

The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word deepavali, meaning “rows of lighted lamps”.

Houses, shops and public places are decorated with small oil lamps called diyas. People also enjoy fireworks and sweets too, so it’s really popular with children.

Each religion marks different historical events and stories.

Hindus celebrate the return of deities Rama and Sita to Ayodhya after their 14-year exile. They also celebrate the day Mother Goddess Durga destroyed a demon called Mahisha.

Sikhs particularly celebrate the release from prison of the sixth guru Hargobind Singh in 1619. But Sikhs celebrated the festival before this date.

In fact, the foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the most holy place in the Sikh world, was laid on Diwali in 1577.

The founder of Jainism is Lord Mahavira. During Diwali, Jains celebrate the moment he reached a state called Moksha (nirvana, or eternal bliss).

A time for feasts, prayers and fireworks, Diwali is one of the most important festivals in India. It is known as the festival of lights as people illuminate oil lamps or candles to symbolise the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.

The symbolism seems particularly meaningful at a time when coronavirus continues to disrupt people’s lives. Although cases have fallen considerably over the past month, India is still one of the world’s worst-hit nations, officially recording more than 35 million cases and over 450,000 deaths.

For some, Diwali marks the beginning of a new year. It is also the social highpoint for Indians as people – buoyed by festive cheer – throw parties, meet friends and family and exchange gifts.