From the snow peaked mountains of Kashmir to the winding rivers of Kanya-kumari, Deepavali is celebrated as one of the most auspicious days in Indian culture. The diversity of our nation is expressed in the multitude of ways in which we celebrate Deepavali through-out India and is a clear reflection of what makes us so unique.
In North India, Deepavali is celebrated to honour Lord Rama after his 14 years of exile. In West India Deepavali holds a special significance, especially in Guja-rat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, where it is celebrated as the beginning of a new year. In Eastern India, it is associated with Goddess Durga, or her fierce avatar Kali (Shaktism), who symbolises the victory of good over evil. In South-ern parts of India, it is considered as a victory of Lord Krishna over the demon Naraka.
For Sikhs, Deepavali holds a special place because it celebrates the release of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind, and 52 other princes with him, in 1619. Deepavali has a very special significance in Jainism too as it marks the anniver-sary of Nirvana (final release) of Mahavira's soul, the twenty-fourth and last Jain Tirthankara of present cosmic age. Deepavali marks the end of the year for the Jains and it likewise remembers the passing commemoration of their 24th Tirthankara Mahavira and his achievement of Moksha.
Overall, there are many variations in the celebration of this festival in different parts of India, but the essence is the same, as this festival of light emphasises the triumph of good over evil, a victory of truth over deceit and focus on right-eousness.
Since the inception of the Congress party, our values & ideologies have reflect-ed the core essence of Deepavali. Our founding fathers & every leader since has worked towards creating an equal and just society that is inclusive of all Indians & rids our country of social ills.
Congress Party wishes every Indian a happy and prosperous Deepavali. Let the light of this auspicious occasion empower us to commit ourselves towards tol-erance, compassion, hope and happiness.