`Our country has prevailed, our people have prevailed’
President tells mammoth crowd at Diwali event
October 26, 2003
`In the true spirit of Diwali, our people have overcome because Diwali is all about the triumph of good over evil. It is the triumph of the forces of light over darkness and our country has prevailed, our people have prevailed, and we need to recognise this’. – President Bharrat Jagdeo
HUNDREDS of Guyanese lined the streets of Georgetown and the East Coast Public Road to view the annual Deepavali motorcade, and many more turned up at the La Bonne Intention (LBI) Community Centre Ground where the magnificently illuminated floats were judged.
Deepavali or Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, was observed yesterday, a national holiday.
The grand motorcade started at the Rama Krishna Mandir, Delph Street, Campbellville and wended its way along the East Coast Public Road and into the LBI Ground.
By the end of the proceedings early Saturday morning, Andrew Art of Ogle, East Coast Demerara, had copped the $100 000 first prize and a trophy in the small vehicles category, and, in the large vehicles category, the Eccles Vishnu Mandir had won the first prize, also $100 000 and a trophy. Other winners were: Small vehicle category, second place: Mon Repos Shri Satnarayan Mandir - $75 000 and a trophy; third place: Murti Shop - $60 000 and a trophy. Little India Store copped the $50 000 fourth prize. Two consolation prizes of $15 000 each went to the Mon Repos Shiv Mandir and the Good Hope Devi Mandir.
In the large category, the other winners were: second place, Radhay Krishna Mandir of Cogland Dam, West Bank Demerara $75 000, and the Dharmic Naujawan, third place, $60 000. The Better Hope Mandir placed fourth. A consolation prize of $15,000 was presented to our Children, Our Future.
Special prizes for early arrival went to the Murti Shop for being there first and the Radhay Krishna Mandir for arriving second.
President Bharrat Jagdeo joined members of the Diplomatic Corps and other Government officials at the ground. Among those present were Indian High Commissioner Mr. Avinash Gupta and Mrs. Rekha Gupta, Prime Minsiter Samuel Hinds and Mrs. Yvonne Hinds, Minster of Local Government and Regional Development Mr. Clinton Collymore, Presidential Advisor on Investment Mr. Manniram Prashad, Mr. Odinga Lumumba, President of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Reepu Daman Persaud, and Information Liaison to the President, Mr. Robert Persaud.
In his address, President Jagdeo recalled that because of the crime wave affecting the East Coast Demerara, the annual motorcade was not held last year. He said that Guyanese have been brave to come out in large numbers this year and he commended them for doing so.
In the true spirit of Diwali, our people have overcome because Diwali is all about the triumph of good over evil. It is the triumph of the forces of light over darkness and our country has prevailed, our people have prevailed, and we need to recognise this,” Mr. Jagdeo said.
The President added: “When I think about our country and I think about so many of our problems, sometimes, on a daily basis, people get so involved in life and the hardships of life, they lose sight of the important things, and what are the important things? They are about having a good family, being happy. Happiness is important. We don’t find happiness in wealth; we don’t find happiness in material things because sometimes I think our country is overtaken by that. We find happiness in good relationships; relationships between parents and children, between brothers and sisters, between families, between husband and wife. We find happiness and that I think is the ultimate search”
President Jagdeo noted the importance of the festival saying, “We should all remember that although Diwali signifies prosperity, it has another significance for prosperity. It’s not just physical prosperity and the physical things that we mush hanker after, but also after the wealth of happiness the wealth of being able to enjoy life the wealth of being able to take care of our children and see them blossom; the wealth that our country can create so that they can have a better life”.
A grand cultural programme was held at the ground including dances by the Dharmic Nritya Sangh and the Dharmic Naujawan along with songs by Danny Balgobin, Joan Rankin and Mohan Nandu, among others. There was also a skit about the abuse of alcohol.