Washington: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi celebrated Diwali on November 3 evening at the National Democratic Club, Washington DC.
Pelosi lit the traditional Indian lamp to signify Diwali and headlined the event. Several prominent elected officials including Congressman Richard Neal, Chair, US House Ways and Means Committee among others joined the historic celebrations.
Dr Vijay G Prabhakar, Indian American community leader from Chicago said that this Diwali celebration with the participation of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the third-highest elected official of USA was significant because for the first time since 2009 Diwali was NOT being celebrated in the White House. President Obama was the first U. S. President to celebrate Diwali in the White House in 2009, and thereafter all Presidents annually celebrated Diwali.
Dr Prabhakar said that the White House not celebrating Diwali this year 2021 had triggered them to organize official celebrations for the first time with the US House Speaker, the State of Illinois House Speaker, the City of Chicago Council and Cook County Treasurer’s office to showcase India’s heritage during this festival season.
Dr Sreenivas Reddy, member, National Council on White House History said that Indian American leaders have participated in this celebration to usher in a spirit of prosperity and peace with the Biden Harris administration and strengthen US-Indo ties.