Deepawali or Diwali is the Festival of Lights. It is a time of rejoicing with family and friends. It is also a time for prayer and reflection about those less fortunate.
The lighting of the traditional lamp, Diya, symbolises the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and most importantly, truth over evil.
The light from the Diya recommits all of us to bring light to any place facing darkness. Hindus are very resilient and draw strength from their faith and a sense of solidarity in times of adversity.
The return of Lord Rama after 14 years in exile is a triumphant occasion.
Lord Rama is the embodiment of truth, justice, righteousness, honesty, integrity and humility.
The virtues of Lord Rama and the significance of Diwali are extremely relevant in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural country like ours, especially when we are transiting to democracy after eight years of dictatorship.
We have a newly constituted Parliament, which as the highest court of the land, must make decisions in the national interest. Narrow, sectarian and personal interests must be discarded.
Challenges in Fiji
The high cost of living, the decline of the sugar industry, the devastating effects of the drought, rising unemployment, derogations in the Bill of Rights of the 2013 Constitution, regressive and draconian decrees, a regulated media and the deteriorating health system and medical services are fundamental problems that can only be resolved by a display of sound and sensible leadership. To ignore these fundamental problems would be doing so at our own peril.
After 14 years of being exiled from Parliament, the National Federation Party has returned to reclaim its rightful place.
As a party born out of the struggle for dignity and justice for all our people, the NFP will continue the struggle for the triumph of truth over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance so that our beloved nation once again becomes a beacon of hope and trust.
We wish everyone a blessed Deepawali.
Biman Prasad is Leader of the National Federation Party and was elected to Parliament at the General Election held on September 17, 2014 in Fiji. The above article did not make in on time to catch our Diwali Special (October 15, 2014) issue. However, since the spirit of Deepavali is eternal, the article retains its relevance. The above picture shows Dr Prasad being sworn in as Member of Parliament in Suva on October 6, 2014 (Picture Courtesy: MINFO News).