Constructed in 1889, the Georgia State Capitol is a National Historic Landmark and home to Georgia’s government. For the first time in its 126 year history, Diwali was celebrated under the grand central rotunda with a beautiful annakut. On November 13, 2015, state representatives from Georgia, the Indian Consulate in Atlanta and dozens of prominent Indian-Americans gathered for this historic Diwali celebration.
The event was organized and hosted by the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Lilburn, Georgia in conjunction with Georgia State Representative B.J. Pak (Lilburn 108).
Leaders shared their thoughts on the diverse contributions of Indian Americans to the economic and cultural framework of Georgia. They highlighted the importance of nurturing and advancing the longstanding relationship between India and the State of Georgia. Guests included State Representatives Hugh Floyd and Marin Pedro, Georgia State Public Commissioner Tim Echols, and Consul General Nagesh Singh from the Indian Consulate in Atlanta. Commissioner Echols offered these thoughts: “As we celebrate this Festival of light and as we think of driving darkness from ourselves, from our neighborhood, from our State…I think of the importance of training our children in understanding wisdom, justice, moderation. There is so much we can do in Atlanta.”
Consul General Singh wished the crowd a very Happy Diwali and a Happy New Year. On behalf of the Indian government, he expressed his deep gratitude to BAPS and the Governor of Georgia, Mr. Nathan Deal. The event concluded with a traditional exchange of sweets to celebrate the New Year.