BENEDICT TEMBO, Lusaka
MINISTER of Justice Given Lubinda was part of the record 5,000 crowd that attended last Saturday’s Diwali Dhamaka live music show at Lusaka’s Lotus Sports Club.
The event, organised by the Lusaka Hindu Association, was spiced by a fireworks extravaganza.
And the visiting Chirag Desai and team from India did not disappoint as they lived up to the full expectation of the revellers.
Versatile singer Sen Shaikh, Priyanka Basu as the voice of Lata and Asha, Chirag Desai (as the voice of Mohammed Rafi Saab), Neeraj Pathak (voice of Kishor Kumar and orchestra Sandeep Christrian) put in a full shift to appreciate the patronage.
It was Zee World reloaded as the massively talented and experienced musicians belted out various songs – much to the amusement of the audience.
The much-travelled crew was performing in Zambia for the first time ever.
Gaureshkumar Rana and Kashish Desai, who were the two co-masters of ceremonies, were also in their element in energising the singers and the audience.
Mr Lubinda commended members of the Lusaka Hindu Society for uniting under the Diwali.
Mr Lubinda was, however, sad to note that there is another Diwali being planned this year, saying it was the only time that there will be two Diwalis.
“I hope there is no division, it [should be] One Zambia, One Diwali,” said Mr Lubinda, who has been associated with the event for a long time.
Indian High Commissioner to Zambia Shri Gangte commended the organisers for striving towards preserving India’s cultural ethos and diversity.
“Cultural heritage does not end at monuments and artifacts, it also includes living traditions, the wealth of knowledge and skills that is inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants. This is what gives us a sense of identity and continuity,” Mr Gangte said.
He said it makes them what they are even when they live thousands of kilometres away from their motherland.
Lusaka Hindu Association chairperson Anil Desai said Deepavali (Diwali) signifies the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness. The slaying of the demon Narakusara by Lord Krishna is commonly cited as the origin of the festival of lights.
Mr Desai said the values that Hindus affirm when they commemorate Diwali are of relevance to all people and have much in common with the principles promoted by other faiths.
“Deepavali is also a time for contemplation and reflection. It’s a time for us to think about our obligations to our fellow human beings, particularly those who are less fortunate than we are. And as we light the Diya – the lamp – we recommit ourselves to the triumph of light over darkness, of good over evil,” he said.
BENEDICT TEMBO, Lusaka