VIJAYADASHAMI, also known as Dashahara, Navratri and Durgotsav, marks the culmination of the 10-day celebration of Durga Puja, the biggest festival of the Hindu community. On this day, Durga is said to have conquered the buffalo demon Mahishura, signifying the victory of good over evil. Imbued with the power of all the male gods, Durga is the protector of the righteous and destroyer of evil in Hindu culture and society. She is also invoked at the start of the new harvest season to rejuvenate the soil and bring good luck for people. The auspicious day ends in Durga Bisarjan, or the submerging of clay idols of the Hindu goddess Durga as she merges with nature and becomes one with the universe.
As we celebrate the power of good over evil on this festive occasion, we must reaffirm our commitment to communal harmony, justice and peace in this country. We must confront and conquer the dark forces that instigate bigotry and violence, and create divisions between us. We condemn the desecration of Hindu idols during Durga Puja in some parts of the country and urge authorities to take appropriate steps to bring the miscreants to book.
Vijayadashami is a special day for Hindus, but it is also a day when people from all religions come together and visit the mandaps in a show of religious tolerance and respect. We celebrate this long tradition of communal harmony.
We wish everyone a very happy Vijayadashami!