Obama wishes ‘a joyous Diwali’

October 26th, 2008 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Oct 26 (IANS) Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has wished “Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and their friends” around the world “a joyous Diwali” with a promise that if elected he would “work to renew America’s moral leadership” in the world.”Americans, despite our varied backgrounds, believe that all people are created equal, and that each person should be free to practice or not practice religion as they choose,” he said in message of Diwali greetings.

But, “these beliefs have faced challenges at home and abroad throughout history, but they are the beliefs our nation was founded on, and we always return to them,” said Obama, who is leading in most polls nationally over Republican rival John McCain.

“If I’m elected President of the United States, I will work to renew America ’s moral leadership in the world,” said Obama adding, “This is our time to create change, and I believe that we can and must continue the fight against ignorance and intolerance.

“I hope you enjoy your celebration and renew your commitment to overcoming ignorance. I wish you all the best for a joyous Diwali,” said Obama.

In a “Dear Friends” message to the Indian community he said: “Thank you for the opportunity to share a few thoughts with you as we near the night of Diwali. In the coming days, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and their friends of all faiths will gather across America and around the world to celebrate the Festival of Lights.

“Much has happened in the world since the last Diwali, and this is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the year past and rededicate ourselves to spreading peace and tolerance in the coming year.”

Obama recalled that last year he “wrote that Diwali’s celebration of the triumph of illumination over ignorance had a special meaning for me. At that time, travelling across America and meeting people of every spiritual and ethnic background showed me that there’s much more that unites us than divides us.”

“Now, one year later, I believe this even more strongly,” he added.

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