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India brightens up on Diwali

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Fireworks illuminated the evening sky, earthen lamps dotted houses and people exchanged sweets and gifts on Diwali which also witnessed bonhomie between Indian and Pakistani guards at border posts. It was fun and frolic for children and youth as they burst crackers and lit fireworks while families visited their neighbours, exchanged ‘’ greetings and sweets. Youngsters also took the route of SMS and social networking websites to wish each other.

According to Hindu belief, Diwali is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya from his exile after vanquishing demon-king Ravana. In the national capital, people decorated their homes and shops with colourful rangolis, flowers and lightings and lit diyas or earthen lamps. In nearby Amritsar, thousands of people paid obeisance in the , which was illuminated by fancy lights. Community feast (langar) was arranged for over three lakh devotees.

On Diwali in 1620, sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind Sahib was released by Mughal emperor Jahangir from Gwalior fort.

People also celebrated Diwali in other parts of the country with traditional fervour and gaiety. Devouts thronged temples and offered prayers. Bollywood turned to Twitter to greet the people and also to ask fans to go slow on sweets and and crackers.

For movie buffs, there were new releases like Shah Rukh Khan's "", "7am Arivu" starring Tamil actor Suriya, and popular actor Vijay's "Velayudham" to choose from. President , Vice President and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greeted the people on the occasion of Diwali saying the festival of lights strengthens the country's resolve to follow true ethical values

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