Trinidad and Tobago celebrate Divali, 4th November 2021 against a backdrop of socio-economic challenges not seen before. Our nation is crying out for leadership at all levels of the society. Economic, political, crime, unemployment, rising food prices, deterioration of our public utilities and governance, climate control, terrorism. Add the Covid-19 Pandemic, all of which do not provide hope, security and an aura of peace and goodwill.
Leadership of any nation or people requires a new determination amidst of these perils. This nation has to take another twist in the realms of governance, and this must be the new paradigm for the future.
Let us hope that Divali 2021 bring a new dispensation for the total governance and societal assembly of all our peoples. This year’s Divali observance will not be different than previous years as pronounced many, many millennia ago. However, we must strive to observe and celebrate the manifold cannons of its celebration. It is not only about wearing saris, eating Indian delicacies, massive celebrations,lighting rows of deyas, religious observances or speeches. Divali was declared a public holiday in this country in1966., and it can usher a new sense of social and political responsibility. Divali’s observance must be respected, and it is not an occasion for fetes, but one of sacredness.
The quality of devotion we exude at all times as Divali is destined to offer a new hope to a disillusioned humanity. Therefore, the task of rehabilitating the world society must not be left to politicians or religious leaders, but must find support and comfort in noble minds, most of which are not easily available. We must not let us on this initiative, but it must be inscribed on the canvas of our consciousness and etched in our hearts, thereby making it a personal humanitarian act.
Everyday there is global corrosiveness in the minds of people at the high level of leadership, including the United Nations, which is now cracked, yet no serious initiatives are being undertaken to ensure its viability and to adhere to its Charter. There continues to be social, moral and spiritual decay in our society, and in the world over. Decadence, untruths, deceits and delaying tactics are now the order of the day, all of which continue to wither away civilization as we know it.
This calls for a total, all encompassing spiritual revolution as pronounced by the great seers and great religious leaders to chip in and help change the course of human history, now or we will face the perils of hopelessness leading into doomsday. Time is not on our side. We have betrayed the message pronounced by the great avatars, spiritual masters over the passage of time.
The lights of Divali must not be a one-time affair, but rather it must become part of mankind’s natural instincts so that light will flicker in our hearts and minds, thus leading us to a renewed humanity, where there will total respect for all members of the human family. Light is the only medium to lead us from the darkness—physical, spiritual and moral. We need the light and the wisdom at all times to ensure total peace, love and the spirit of human kindness. We have to rekindle family life, as it has been ignored or thrown in the oblivion
Mass Divali celebrations are not the norm today, but we can have celebrations with our families and close friends, as we must not allow the pandemic to disturb our focus on fellowship and religious fervour.
The prescription for all social, economic, cultural and political problems will be found in the great religions of mankind. Hindus and the Indian diaspora, like the rest of the national citizenry have a pivotal role to play whether in the political process, the economic sphere or the social platform. Political manifestoes have now become the new religious texts. We casually seek refuge in the sayings of the great religious literature, and this is done only to show the world that we are a spiritually charged people. It is now a worldwide phenomenon and no one is excluded.
The teachings, the messages, the philosophy are embedded in our great scriptural texts, all of which have given hope, faith, forbearance and tenacity to past generations, and will certainly do the same for us, and all future generations. We must not fall prey otherwise.
We must always remember that the wealth of any nation or civilization, is not grounded on the numerical strength of the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) or the conquering of nations, or spiraling to outer space, but rather on the spiritual and moral and ethical growth of its people.
Divali promotes multiculturalism and secularism, and it has now become an institution in Trinidad and Tobago. It is one such festival that knits man with his Creator. Let us, therefore, embark on a new spiritual paradigm, a new synthesis ,a new approach. Let us always keep the lights lighting at all times using our prayers, our devotion, our commitment for a new mankind towards the pathway of enlightenment and evolution to a higher form of existence.
Divali is one such opportunity for the total energy in all of us.
Happy Divali to all, November 4, 2021.