Mayor Eric Adams hosts Diwali party at Gracie Mansion

New York: During the annual Diwali celebration at Gracie Mansion, Mayor Adams emphasized the need to eliminate the darkness enveloping the world, particularly in light of the loss of innocent lives. “Diwali is more than just a holiday. It is a reminder to all of us that we must push away the darkness wherever we see it and bring light. That is what the Festival of Lights is about,” Adams said.

At the annual celebration attended by hundreds of prominent members of the Indian-American and South Asian communities and diaspora from other nationalities and government officials, Adams said Diwali is more than lighting a candle or oil but about “lighting up our lives.”

“There is so much darkness that we are seeing every day. So if we truly believe in the life of Ramayana, if we truly believe in the life of Sita, if we truly believe in the life of Gandhi, then we must continue Gandhi’s steps. We cannot only be worshippers; we must be practitioners,” he said.

Jenifer Rajkumar, the New York State Assemblywoman who spearheaded the campaign to establish Diwali as a school holiday in New York City, expressed that the Indian-American community has reached unprecedented influence and strength. “We are unstoppable, and we have arrived at the table of power in this state,” she said.

Dilip Chauhan, Deputy Commissioner at the New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, called on everyone to promote love and peace in their local communities and worldwide. He stressed that hate should have no presence, not only in New York City but anywhere else as well.

The mayor also honored prominent members of the Indian-American and diaspora communities for their achievements and exceptional contributions to the community. The honorees included Grammy-nominated musician and renowned business leader Chandrika Tandon; geriatric psychiatrist and Executive Director of India Home, a center for senior care, Dr Vasundhara Kalasapudi; Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC) Chairman Nirmal Mattoo, Dr. Hari Shukla and musician Ustad Kamal Sabri.

Image courtesy of X/ @NYCMayor

Share this post