The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha organized its first Diwali Celebration at the North Carolina State Capitol in downtown Raleigh on October 27, 2022. This event was organized in partnership with other local Hindu organizations. It was attended by North Carolina State Senator Sydney Batch, Representative Cynthia Ball, Representative James Roberson, Representative Julie von Haefen, and Town of Morrisville Councilmen Satish Garimella and Steve Rao. Staff from the offices of Senator Wiley Nickel and Representative John Autry also attended.
The program began with the emcee explaining the significance of Diwali, emphasizing how it signified the victory of good over evil. Attendees of the program then experienced thought-provoking speeches and dynamic videos, which all centered around living the core messages of Diwali year-round. Manoj Pandya, President of the Board of Directors of the Hindu Society of North Carolina, spoke about the importance of doing good in the community through volunteer work and Praveen Tatineni, President of the Board of Directors of the Sri Venkateswara Temple of NC, addressed the importance of inspiring future generations to aspire to virtuous living. The program concluded with Darshan Patel, a BAPS volunteer and Emergency Management Specialist with Wake County, thanking all community members and state officials.
State Representative Cynthia Ball highlighted some of the good done by Hindu communities throughout the state. State Senator Sydney Batch echoed the sentiments shared by the speakers about the importance of being good and inspiring good in others. This was the first time the festival of Diwali was celebrated in the North Carolina State Capitol and was organized in conjunction with the offices of Senator Jay Chaudhuri, Senator Wiley Nickel, and Representative Gale Adcock.