|New Delhi, Nov 12: President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President M. Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greeted the nation on Diwali today. President Mukherjee urged the countrymen to "try and celebrate a pollution-free Diwali".
In his message, the president said: "On the joyous occasion of Diwali, I extend my warm greetings and good wishes to my countrymen in India and around the world. I urge all Indians to try and celebrate a pollution-free Diwali."
"Diwali is a time for festivity and happiness cutting across all faiths and cultures. It is an occasion to share our joy with those who are needy and deprived. The diyas (earthen lamps) lit on the moonless night of Diwali signify the end of the darkness of ignorance and the beginning of light that enlightens all," he added.
The president asked people to channelise their energies towards vanquishing suffering and strive hard for the collective growth of the country on the auspicious occasion.
Vice President Hamid Ansari said: "I extend my warm greetings and best wishes to all the citizens of our country on the auspicious occasion of Deepawali."
"The celebration of this festival promotes the spirit of love, compassion and brotherhood amongst us and at the same time removes bigotry, hatred and ignorance from our midst. May the festival of lights shower peace, progress and prosperity on all," he added.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while wishing peace and prosperity for the people of India hoped that the festival of lights this year would mark the beginning of a new phase of optimism for every Indian. (IANS)