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Bush requested to attend Diwali celebrations at the White House

Source: PTI
October 22, 2005 10:19 IST
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Though pleased that the White House would be celebrating Diwali this year, the United States India League has said the celebrations should reflect the festival's status as Hinduism's most important one.

The League, a representative body of Indians in the US, has also urged President George W Bush to attend the function, noting that his presence would send the 'right signals to his friends in India and the Indian American community'.

According to the League's executive director, Don Feder, merely 'going through the motions of having a pro forma Diwali celebration' would not be enough.

"Diwali is Hinduism's most importance observance. The White House celebration should reflect that," he said in a release on Friday.

Citing a recent worldwide Global Attitudes Survey, Feder said that pro-American sentiment and support for President Bush was the strongest in India, when compared to most of the Muslim world.

"While reaching out to sceptics, the President shouldn't forget his friends," he said, apparently referring to the two iftar dinners recently hosted by Bush and the First Lady.

Noting that India's strategic alliance with the US had become a cornerstone of Bush' policy, Feder hoped that 'these realities are reflected in the way Diwali is celebrated at the White House this year'.

The celebrations at the White House are slated for November 1 at 3.30 pm local time. Diwali has been celebrated there in the past, albeit never at the official level.

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