King’s Diwali offer ‘genius’
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 082 882 5053 or 071 915 7266. – POST Reporter