Each year it gives me great joy to join with our national community to wish our Hindu brothers and sisters Shubh Divali. Divali is a special time for Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago and across the globe, one where families, friends, communities come together to celebrate the joyous occasion of the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness.
I know that this is yet another year that we cannot be together in person and we have had to adapt and adjust to preserve our traditions and practices when this pandemic came.
It has been a long and challenging journey dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic in addition to other pressing issues we face as a nation such as crime, high food prices, poverty, and a lack of opportunities for our children and young people. Indeed, Trinidad and Tobago is experiencing its darkest and most difficult days in our entire history.
In this past month, we have seen a dangerous increase in the number of our citizens being warded at the ICU and High Dependency Units and I continue to urge everyone to adhere to the Covid -19 protocols. I ask those of you who fall into the high-risk categories for Covid-19 and have not been vaccinated to please consult your doctor and consider being vaccinated. We must all work together and be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers if we are to overcome these challenges.
We have also seen an alarming attack on our democracy, one which the party I lead, the United National Congress, will not allow to take hold.
Divali serves as the best inspiration we have during these dark and difficult times. The story of Lord Ram and his victory over the evil King Ravan continues to inspire and nourish our faith. The festival of lights is a reminder that light always prevails despite the darkest of nights. But light cannot prevail on its own.
We must be the spark that ignites the flame. Each citizen of our nation is that light. We are all sparks of the divine and it is we who need to remove this darkness. Unless we as good people make a conscious effort to act, the evil in our land will not be vanquished.
It is the small deeds we do that can help shine a light to illuminate our beautiful land. I ask you on this auspicious day that we join together in each lighting our own light, to help someone in need. Let us choose to bring hope to others just as the deeyas provide us with light.
This Divali let us look deep inside ourselves. Let us recognize the true battles that are worth fighting for. The ones that are truly important to us. Let us work to build a brighter tomorrow for our children, and create a better nation for our future generations.
Never forget that a million small lights side by side together can light up the entire nation.
This Divali, I pray that Mother Lakshmi continues to shower all of her blessings upon you and your families. I pray that the people of our nation are all blessed with good health, strength, and prosperity.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC MP
Leader of the Opposition