London, Nov 16 (PTI) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lauded the contribution of British Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities in helping the people during the coronavirus pandemic and responding to the crisis with compassion, community spirit and a can-do attitude.
Johnson said this in his message during a virtual Diwali prayer meet organised by NRI entrepreneur G P Hinduja and his family on Sunday.
'Congratulations to everyone on this fantastic 'Virtual Diwali' festival. This brings the spirit of Diwali into peoples homes while helping the people to remain safe,' Johnson said.
It is not easy when the people want to get together with their family or visit their friends or share with them the Diwali fun and Samosa or Gulab Jamun, he said.
'I want you to know that your sacrifices and your determination to do the right thing really are helping to save lives... I have been blown away by the inspirational way in which Hindus, Sikhs and Jains have responded to this crisis with compassion, community spirit and a can-do attitude,' Johnson said.
He said he has the confidence that 'together we will overcome this virus as Diwali teaches us that light triumphs over darkness and good over evil, knowledge over ignorance.' 'So let us pull together once again in a huge collective effort and just as Lord Rama and his wife Sita found their way home after the defeat of the demon king Ravana, their way lit by many millions of lamps, so too shall we find our way through this and we shall do so triumphantly,' he said.
Prince Charles inaugurated the event by lighting up the traditional Diwali lamp. The prayer meeting was attended by leading multi-faith spiritual heads and other leaders.
In his message, Prince Charles said the festival of light is a special time for families and friends to get together to share gifts and sweets and enjoy each other's company.
'Very sadly this year, the ongoing public health crisis means that this will simply not be possible for so many of you and I can well imagine how difficult and disappointing this must be,' he said.
Prince Charles said people might still draw strength from the message of Diwali - that ultimately good will triumph over evil and light will prevail over darkness.
Johnson said he has been blown away by the contribution of British Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities in helping the people during the coronavirus pandemic.
The highlight of the 'Virtual Diwali' prayer was a nearly three-hour-long musical extravaganza by some of Bollywood's leading playback singers including Sonu Nigam, Kailash Kher, Anup Jalota, Shankar Mahadevan and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
G P Hinduja, Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group said they decided to convert the annual Diwali celebration into prayers because of the pandemic.
He hoped Goddess Laxmi will bring improvement in the life of people world over. PTI HSR PMS AKJ NSA