King’s Di­wali of­fer ‘ge­nius’

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EM­BRACE the of­fer! That’s the mes­sage from vet­eran politi­cian Ka­mal Pan­day on a plan by King Good­will Zwelithini to open the doors of his palace in Non­goma for the Hindu cel­e­bra­tion of Di­wali.

“Bring­ing the In­dian cel­e­bra­tion of Di­wali into the heart of the Zulu na­tion is a stroke of ge­nius. In­di­ans have al­ways en­joyed a cor­dial re­la­tion­ship with the Zu­lus,” said Pan­day, who has been a coun­cil­lor, pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture mem­ber and MP.

“This ce­ment­ing of the bond is ap­pre­ci­ated, es­pe­cially at this time. We need lead­ers of such re­pute to help bring our peo­ple to­gether.”

The event will be held in con­junc­tion with the Si­vananda World Peace Foun­da­tion, which is run by busi­ness­man Ish­war Ram­lutch­man, whom the king re­gards as a son.

Pan­day, of Reser­voir Hills, said the king must be lauded for his “in­valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to so­cial co­he­sion”.

He also thanked Ram­lutch­man for his role in forg­ing unity and IFP pres­i­dent Man­go­suthu Buthelezi whom he said had, over the years, “im­pressed on peo­ple of all hues to come to­gether”.

Clos­ing schools for re­li­gious hol­i­days such as Di­wali and Eid would also help na­tion build­ing, he added, en­abling all races to en­joy and re­spect other cul­tures and re­li­gions.

Reader Lallo Hari­ram of uMh­langa said in a let­ter: “The king has spo­ken and we, his sub­jects, must take full ad­van­tage of the of­fer he made.”

“Let us cel­e­brate with our brothers and sis­ters from this re­gion in KwaZulu-Na­tal on this joy­ous day. We must show deep love and hon­our our king. We must not let him down.”

POST re­ported last week that the king con­sid­ered Di­wali a “great uni­fy­ing force” and had urged South Africans to cel­e­brate it.

Ram­lutch­man said on Mon­day that the story had gen­er­ated huge in­ter­est, with peo­ple across the prov­ince, in­clud­ing Chatsworth, Lady­smith, KwaDukuza and Richards Bay, keen to at­tend.

“They are all say­ing that this is a good ini­tia­tive and what our coun­try needs.”

On Fri­day, King Zwelithini told him the event would go down in his­tory.

“He asked me to frame the POST story,” he said.

The event will take place at the Usuthu Royal Palace on Oc­to­ber 7 from 2pm to 6pm and in­clude cul­tural items from both the Hindu and Zulu com­mu­ni­ties as well as a fire­works dis­play.

Chen­nai singer Kan­nan Veera­mani is sched­uled to per­form.

Ram­lutch­man said tra­di­tional In­dian veg­e­tar­ian food and snacks would be pre­pared, in­clud­ing breyani and samoosas.

Trans­port is be­ing ar­ranged for those who need it.

For more in­for­ma­tion, e- mail sivanan­da­world­peace@ or shiela.ng­cobo@kzn­premier.gov.za or call 082 882 5053 or 071 915 7266. – POST Reporter

Ka­mal Pan­day

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