NEW YORK – Council Member Rory I. Lancman, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and fifteen other Council Members last night hosted a Diwali Celebration in Council Chambers that featured a lamp lighting ceremony, dance performances, and the presentation of proclamations to distinguished South Asian leaders. 

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.” 

Two prominent South Asian leaders and one South Asian group were recognized at last night’s celebration: the NYPD Desi Society, who was honored with a proclamation from Council Member Lancman; Dr. Samin Sharma, who was honored with a proclamation from Council Member Grodenchik; and Rajeev Pandya, who was honored with a proclamation from Council Member Eugene. 

Other program participants included: Shruti Goyal, who performed the U.S. National Anthem; Dr. Krishna Pratap, who recited the World Peace Prayer; and dance performances by Nandini Chakravorty, Manhattan Andaaz, and Bhangra Group Dance by Ankita Jain, Namita Jain, and Karishma Malhotra. Democratic District Leader Dr. Neeta Jain delivered welcome remarks at the top of the program.

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

The City Hall event was organized in conjunction with Council Members Adrienne Adams, Daniel Dromm, Mathieu Eugene, Barry Grodenchik, Robert Holden, Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz, Alan Maisel, Steven Matteo, I. Daneek Miller, Donovan Richards, Ydanis Rodriguez, Eric Ulrich, Paul Vallone, and Kalman Yeger.