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US Hindu Group Urges President George Bush To Attend White House Diwali Celebrations

Troy Michigan--October 27, 2005--Navya Shastra, the US-based international organization of scholars, practitioners and priests dedicated to fostering the spiritual equality of all Hindus, urges President George Bush to attend this year's White House Diwali celebrations, scheduled on November 1.

Diwali--the Festival of Lights--is one of the most important religious holidays in Hinduism, and is generally believed to symbolize the victory of righteousness over evil. It is widely celebrated by the two million strong Hindu-American community.

The White House has been gracious enough to host a Diwali celebration for the past three years, but President Bush has never attended the ceremony, though he participates in the ceremonies of other faith communities--Muslims, Jews, and Christians.

"Given the growing presence of Hindus in the United States, and the recent warming of India-US ties, we think it would be fantastic if President Bush attended the ceremony this year," said Jaishree Gopal, Navya Shastra Co-Chairman.

"It would send a message to Americans that the President respects and honors all faith communities that are part of the American cultural fabric," she added.