National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) Chairman Deokinanan Sharma Wants the Light of Deya to Illuminate the Hearts and Minds of the Unvaccinated to Save the Country from More Covid-Related Deaths19
Sharma used the Divali Nagar platform on Tuesday night to call the unvaccinated on board and take the jab.
With the increase in cases of the delta variant and only 42% of the population vaccinated so far, Sharma joined with health authorities in calling on citizens to get vaccinated.
With hospitals running out of intensive care beds to treat critically ill people and deaths exceeding 1,600, Sharma said: “Our saving grace is that all are fully immunized.”
He told Newsday that broadcasting the festival live is not the same as celebrating and performing in front of a live audience.
“I miss the energy of the people,” he said, wishing a return to the glory days of the bazaar-like atmosphere at the Divali Nagar site in Chaguanas.
“The sacred feast of Divali is with us again. I pray that the blessings of our Divine Mother Maha Lakshmi will be poured out upon all of us as we face the dreaded covid 19 pandemic that has accompanied us for nearly two years with no immediate end in sight.
“To make matters worse, we are all now faced with the even more dreaded delta variant which we believe spreads faster than the covid virus and poses a definite threat to our lives.
“Our saving grace is that all are fully immunized. “
He repeated the medical opinion which suggests that the vaccinee has more than a 90% chance of overcoming the variant.
He advised those who are still hesitant to get the vaccine, especially the obese and those with co-morbidities: “You should all get the vaccine completely and avoid any terrible consequences as soon as possible. “
“You would not only be saving your own lives, but also those of your loved ones,” he said.
For the second year in a row, the NCIC had to scale down the annual Divali Nagar and turn it into a virtual cultural event.
“We are avoiding the extremely popular and grandiose presentation that we have all become accustomed to over the 34 years of presenting the event.
“Our Divali presentation this year, 2021, will be a virtual offering (Prastaav) of what our on-stage presentation would have been under normal circumstances.”
The festival kicked off on Tuesday evening and cultural broadcasts were broadcast live via the INCC Nagar Facebook page and the Southex Live Events page on YouTube.
The virtual performances take place over nine nights, between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., ending November 3 on the eve of Divali, celebrated on November 4.
On Thursday evening, the virtual audience was able to attend cultural performances by Bollywood Dance Co, Shivanand and Narendra Maharaj, with the Shiv Sangeet School of Music, Jairaj Singh, as well as Shane and Sharda Musai.
Noting that Divali symbolizes light over darkness, Sharma said, “I am sure that we will soon overcome the present deadly plague that is affecting our entire world, and life as we all know it will return to normal.
“The light will forever triumph over darkness. This simple statement symbolizes the victory of good over bad things and enlightenment over ignorance.
“The light of simple deya will illuminate everything around it without any discrimination. A deep lesson that we all need to learn.