Congresswoman from New York Carolyn B Maloney said she was introducing a bill to make Diwali a nationally recognised federal holiday in the United States, on Wednesday. If the bill gets approval, Diwali will be observed as a holiday in federal institutions in the country.
The Indian diaspora, a significant population in the United States, observes the festival of lights to honour its cultural heritage, Maloney said. “I am very happy and excited to be introducing the Deepavali Day Act this week alongside members of the congressional Indian caucus, which will initiate Diwali into a law as a federal holiday,” she said while introducing the legislation.
She was joined by Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Congressman Gregory Meeks, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Ahead of her announcement, she had tweeted, “I am so excited to introduce my Deepavali Day Act which would enshrine Diwali as a federal holiday. Let’s celebrate light over darkness, the triumph of good over evil, and the pursuit of knowledge over ignorance during this special time of year!”
She started by wishing a happy Diwali to all those celebrating the festival across the world. Maloney said she understood the importance of the festival in the Indian American community, and that the festival was important to not only the Indian diaspora but also to Americans.
“It is truly appropriate that Diwali this year symbolises our nation’s continuing journey out of the darkness of Covid-19 and the terrible effects of the pandemic on our people.”