UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the Diwali spirit of the victory of light over darkness and good over evil as he delivered a message of optimism about overcoming the coronavirus pandemic for a first-of-its-kind virtual Diwali festival this weekend.
“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 we shall find our way through this, and we shall do so triumphantly,” he said.
Prime Minister Johnson appealed for a huge collective effort as England entered its second stay-at-home lockdown earlier this week, to last at least until December 2, in order to curb a surge in coronavirus infections across the country.
“While undoubtedly there are huge challenges ahead, I have every confidence in the resilience and resolve and good sense of people across the country and that together we will overcome this virus, just as Diwali teaches us that light triumphs over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance,” Boris Johnson said from 10 Downing Street in London on Friday.
Acknowledging that people would find it particularly difficult this year with all the lockdown restrictions, Johnson praised the Indian community in the UK for all their sacrifices and efforts at working towards a safe and secure Diwali.
He praised the “fantastic virtual Diwali festival” for bringing the spirit of Diwali into people’s homes while helping people stay safe.
“I know that celebrating at a distance isn’t easy when you want to get together with all your family or visit your friends or share with them the Diwali fun, as well, of course, the odd samosa or gulab jamun,” he said in his inaugural address to the ‘iGlobal Diwali Fest 2020’.
“So I want you to know that your sacrifices and your determination to do the right thing really are helping to save lives, and tough though I know many aspects of this year have been, 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,” he said.