Washington: Greeting people on the occasion of Diwali, US President Donald Trump said the festival of lights is a special opportunity to reflect on the bond of friendship between India and America.
Trump said First Lady Melania joins him in sending their best wishes for a very happy and memorable Diwali. He also recognised the "extraordinary" contributions of Indian-Americans in the development of the United States.
"Diwali is a special opportunity to reflect on the bond of friendship between the United States and India," Trump said in a special Diwali message issued on Wednesday.
"We recognise the extraordinary contributions of Indian-Americans to the strength and success of our nation. Their achievements in business and industry, public service, education, scientific research, and other fields continue to represent the very best of our American virtues and the spirit of the Diwali season," he said.
Asserting that Diwali is a joyous and spiritual time marked by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, Trump said lighting of lamps on the occasion symbolises the true meaning of Diwali, which is triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Republican National Committee (RNC) chairperson Ronna McDaniel also greeted people celebrating Diwali.
"We wish you and your family and friends a meaningful celebration of the victory of light over darkness. We at the RNC will continue to honour the traditions of diverse communities that enrich and strengthen our country," she said.
Top American lawmakers also joined Trump in Diwali greetings.
"Wishing a very happy Diwali to everyone around the world celebrating the Festival of Lights," Senator Mark Warner, Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus, said.
"The Festival of Lights...commemorates the victory of good over evil and illumination of knowledge," Congressman Frank Pallone said.
Indian American lawmaker Raja Krishnamoorthi said, "Happy Diwali to all celebrating today!”
Congressman John Sarbanes said the festival of lights serves as an important reminder for all that love and light will always prevail over hate and darkness, and that knowledge and reason will invariably overcome intolerance and ignorance.
Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said Diwali is a "beautiful reminder that light prevails over darkness and that goodness will guide us toward a better future".
Congressmen Derek Kilmer and Jimmy Gomez also extended Diwali greetings and hoped to "embrace the values" of the festival "in our politics and our communities".