On Wednesday 23rd October, the Hindu Forum of Britain [HFB] celebrated its 19th Diwali event at the House of Commons with over 200 representatives from all sections of the society. This year’s Parliamentary hosts were Bob Blackman MP and Lord Dholakia OBE and Barrister Jayesh Jotangia from the APPG Hindu group.
The celebration started with opening prayers by the priest from ISKCON, and the President of HFB, Mrs Trupti Patel, in her opening address spoke about the importance and significance of Diwali to the Hindu Community.
The co-hosts were accompanied on stage by the three Vice-Presidents of HFB: Mr Punnet Dwivedi (Scotland), Mr Tarang Shelat (Midlands) and Dr Ramesh Pattni (South).
Rt Hon Priti Patel, the first Hindu Home Secretary highlighted the importance of Diwali as a celebration of the noble Hindu values. She added that Hindus are very much visible in all sectors in the UK, and that the community was going from strength to strength in their contributions to the UK society and economy.
Paul Scully MP while referring to his Indian heritage as his grandmother who was born in Kolkatta, applauded the fantastic British Indian success story and said “I am looking forward to celebrations in Sutton with my whole family.”
Emphasising on the importance of the festival, Shailesh Vara, MP said that in present time, there is great need in the world for light of wisdom and forgiveness.
Keerti Naren Dasa presented a stunning classical Indian dance performance based on a story of Ramayana and which was really appreciated by all the guests. Pandit Satish Sharma, the General Secretary of the NCHT UK said that 2020 will prove to a significant year for HFB in its presence in the UK as the political voice of the UK Hindus. Dr T Jotingia, President of the Vishwa Hindu Parisad was given an opportunity to launch their booklet of Hindu Conclave.