We all know the power of light and the beauty of darkness; you cannot have one without the other. This is why Divali is so enduring, why it lifts people up everywhere. It brings one to darkness and suspense and then… there is light. A light that cannot be extinguished.  A light so brilliant that it enters our hearts freely.

Divali is neither ancient nor symbolic. It is here, among us:

where there are those who survive amidst poverty, we must bring forward the lustre of economic excellence and prosperity;

where there is the unleashing of violence, we must turn on the lamps of safety, security and dialogue;

where there is a stubborn attachment to the status quo, we must point to the future, with the radiance of innovation and genius.

I call on all those enjoying this brilliant festival to join me in assuring that no matter your background, status, or affiliation… a fierce light shall prevail in our world:

 that every woman shall be safe;

 that every child shall be educated;

 and that every individual shall enjoy the right to health, wealth and respect.

Let us free the light.