Holidays and a new year are reasons to celebrate and to look for new beginnings. As we near 2021, we have a need to do both, writes columnist Frank F. Islam.
I recently wrote an article for India doing that. I share it here with you my fellow members of the Indian American diaspora in the belief that you will find it of interest and hold many of these same sentiments for your relatives on the other side of the globe.
As we enter the holiday season and approach the new year, I want to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt best wishes to and for India and Indians.
Because of Covid-19, 2020 has been an extremely trying year. We have all had to try harder.
We have done so across the board and it is starting to pay off. Vaccines are now being distributed in the U.K., the U.S., in other countries and will soon be distributed across India.
That is a reason for hope and to be of good cheer as we enter the holidays. I am confident that we will have many other reasons for hope and good cheer in 2021.
That said here are my wishes for India and Indians for:
- The Indian national holidays
- The Indian religious holidays
- The issues that are confronting India domestically
- India in the South Asian region
- India’s relations internationally
My wishes for India’s national holidays in 2021 are as follows:
- For Republic Day, I wish that this constitutional democracy remains strong and serves as a beacon of democracy in a global world where nations are becoming increasingly autocratic.
- For Independence Day, I wish that Indians celebrate not only independence from the Unite Kingdom but also their interdependence on one another.
- For Gandhi Jayanti, I wish that we remember and do what Mahatma Gandhi advised. That is “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Each of us must be that change to help make India and the world a brighter and better place.
My wish for all of the religious holidays is that they be used to demonstrate what strong and inclusive faiths can do to unite rather than divide. As Pandit Malayviva, founder of Banaras Hindu University instructed us, “India is not a country of the Hindus only. It is a country of the Muslims, the Christians and the Parsees too. The country can gain strength and develop itself only when the people of India live in mutual good will and harmony.”