NEW YORK – Council Member Rory I. Lancman, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and 18 Council Members hosted a celebration of Diwali at City Hall last night that featured a lamp lighting ceremony, dance performances, and the presentation of proclamations to distinguished South Asian leaders. Several dignitaries delivered remarks during the program, including Sandeep Chakravorty, the Consul General of India; Puspa R. Bhattarai, the Consul General of Nepal; and Pankaja Munde, Minister of Rural Development & Women & Children Development for the Government of the State of Maharashtra.

Diwali, or Deepavali, has a deep significance to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists. Each legend of Diwali has the significance of the victory of good over evil; light over darkness; and knowledge over ignorance. During Diwali each year, homes are illuminated with light to celebrate this triumph.

“Diwali is a special time when millions of South Asians all across the world rejoice and fill the world with light and love,” said Council Member Rory I. Lancman. “I am honored to join the many Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists in our city who celebrate this important holiday.”

“Let’s celebrate this Diwali with lights of Love and Peace, removing darkness of hatred,” said District Leader Dr. Neeta Jain. “Happy Diwali to all of you!”

Three prominent South Asian leaders were recognized for significant contributions to their community: Richard David, who was honored with a proclamation from Council Member Adrienne Adams; Dr. Sunil Mehra, who was honored with a proclamation from Council Member Lancman; and Mohan Gyawali Chhetri, who was honored with a proclamation from Council Member Barry Grodenchik.

Last night’s event was organized in conjunction with Council Members Adrienne Adams, Fernando Cabrera, Andrew Cohen, Costa Constantinides, Daniel Dromm, Rafael Espinal, Mathieu Eugene, Barry Grodenchik, Robert Holden, Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz, Alan Maisel, I. Daneek Miller, Francisco Moya, Ydanis Rodriguez, Eric Ulrich, Paul Vallone, and Kalman Yeger.