The Hinduja Family introduced Diwali to the city of London in the early 80s. Their in-person annual Diwali celebrations have come to be an integral part of London’s hi-profile social calendar. Today Diwali is so ubiquitous in London that even Times Square is lit up every year.
But this challenging year, marred first by the economic slowdown and then with the world in the grip of covid 19, the Hinduja Family felt it could not be the usual celebration anymore. Yet to keep the spirit of Diwali alive despite lockdown and social distancing which ensured an in-person event was not possible, the Hinduja Family raised it to a different dimension. The celebrations gave way to a virtual Prayer event for global wellbeing where different religious heads including the Archbishop of Canterbury .with their good wishes, and multi-faith spiritual masters joined in to offer their words of wisdom to resolutely face the current challenging times. To keep the momentum going, some of the golden voices of the contemporary Indian music industry like Kailash Kher, Sonu Nigam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Anup Jalota, Shankar Mahadevan, Shaan, and Anuradha Paudwal performed live from different parts of the globe. Kailash Kher, Sonu Nigam, and Rahat Fateh Ali khan sang specially curated prayerful anthems with powerful messages of positivity to lift the sagging spirits.
Members of Royalty, HRH Prince Charles inaugurated the event by lighting up the Diwali lamp, and Prince Edward led the messages from the political class. Good wishes were in order from PM Boris Johnson, Home Secretary, Priti Patel, Foreign Office state Minister, Lord Tariq Ahmad, Faith Minister Lord Greenhalgh, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The Vice President of India, Governor of Maharashtra, and Indian High Commissioner to the UK sent their special messages for the Hinduja Family.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. G.P Hinduja, Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group said, “The Indian Festival of Lights, Diwali, has a deep spiritual significance. In these times, we, as a family, thought that keeping in mind the challenging times being faced all and with Covid affecting millions around the world irrespective of country, colour, creed, gender, it could not be celebrations as usual. My late father had always instilled this value in us that whether it’s work or pleasure, every step should be taken keeping in mind the collective welfare of the community where we live and operate from. I like to do things differently and I was not willing to be limited by covid restrictions. So we said, why not keep the spirit alive and yet pray for the collective wellbeing of all. With thousands of people joining us from the US to the Far East, we feel humbled that our efforts were appreciated. We thank all the dignitaries who took the effort to send us their good wishes.”