New York: Diwali at Times Square staged a raging come-back after 2 years. Thousands of people participated as the brightest celebration unfolded in the brightest city on earth – New York! The event was attended by some of the highest-ranking government officials and dignitaries in the business world.
The Light up Times Square Concert started at 5 PM and was made more luminous by the Diwali Countdown on Ball Drop Screen. Dignitaries who addressed the celebration included Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, and Consul General of India in New York Randhir Jaiswal.
In his message, Prime Minister Narendara Modi said, “This celebration will help spread our rich traditions and culture in different parts of the world. Carrying the eternal message of victory of light over darkness and truth over untruth may this auspicious occasion further spread peace, happiness, and prosperity in the lives of every member of the Indian diaspora in the USA.”
Amb. Randhir Jaiswal said “It is time we respect the foundational values of our society: kindness, compassion, sharing and being together and may you bring all these values today and tomorrow and forever.”
Senator Schumer said in his address, “I believe in immigration in general. My middle name is actually Ellis (from Ellis Island). Immigrants have great American values while still remembering the traditions and bringing them to America from their home countries. One of the best and the greatest immigrant communities is our Indian American community, our South Asian Community. We must welcome more Indians to come to America and New York. Because if there are more Indians in New York, the greater NY will be.”
Congresswoman Maloney said, “I have been coming to this festival ever since we got the Diwali stamp approved. The Diwali stamp has been so successful that I think we should have a Diwali Holiday. So, I am introducing a bill for that.”
Governor Hochul congratulated the founder of the event, Neeta Bhasin, for having a vision to celebrate the diversity and the wonderful tradition in Times Square and said ‘Diwali at Times is a fabulous event to celebrate the New Year and to celebrate the comeback of New York.”
This event was conceptualized by Event Guru and Managed by ASB Communications. Neeta Bhasin, the President of EventGuru, said, “We are sharing the message of Deepavali – Knowledge over Ignorance, Light over Darkness, Peace, Love, Unity and Togetherness and inclusion in diversity to the world from the biggest crossroads of the world, Times Square.”
The event hosts included Aryan Vaid, Mister International, and it was celebrated in association with Samman for All, which facilitates people from the lower-economic strata.
Some of the front-line fighters in the covid battle like Officer Manish Sharma – President of Indian Police Society (NYPD), Dr. Samin K. Sharma of Mount Sinai Heart, Dr. Jagmohan Kalra and Dr. Sunjit Jaspal from Northwell Health were honored on stage.