"Thank you for the opportunity to share a few thoughts with you as we near the night of Diwali. In the coming days, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and their friends of all faiths will gather across America and around the world to celebrate the Festival of Lights." "Much has happened in the world since the last Diwali, and this is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the year past and rededicate ourselves for spreading peace and tolerance in the coming year," Obama said in a message dated Oct 24.
"Last year, I wrote that Diwali's celebration of the triumph of illumination over ignorance had a special meaning for me. At that time, travelling across America and meeting people of every spiritual and ethnic background showed me that there is much more that unites us than divides us. Now, one year later, I believe this even more strongly," he said.
"Americans, despite our varied backgrounds, believe that all people are created equal, and that each person should be free to practice or not practice religion as they choose," the Illinois Senator added.
"If I'm elected President of the United States, I will work to renew America's moral leadership in the world. This is our time to create change, and I believe that we can and must continue the fight against ignorance and intolerance. I wish you all the best for a joyous Diwali" Obama said.