Business Standard

Hindu community integral part of South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa

The Hindu community of South Africa is an integral part of the country's makeup, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday as he extended greetings of Diwali to the community members across the nation

Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa

Press Trust of India Johannesburg
The Hindu community of South Africa is an integral part of the country's makeup, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday as he extended greetings of Diwali to the community members across the nation.
The Hindu Community is an integral part of South Africa's rich multicultural tapestry. Members of the Hindu Community have made a significant contribution to our country since the arrival of indentured Indians to South Africa in 1860, Ramaphosa said.
He was referring to the first Indians who arrived by boat in November 1860 to work on the sugar cane plantations of the then British colonial province of Natal.
They were followed by thousands more, as well passenger Indians who paid their own way to start up businesses in South Africa.
Descendants of these first Indian settlers now number 1.4 million South African citizens in a seventh generation in some instances.
Ramaphosa also acknowledged the Indian community across several generations who were in the forefront of the struggle against apartheid.
The community contributed immensely to our freedom struggle and are playing an important role today in nation building and the economic recovery and revitalisation of our country at a time of great challenges faced by the global community, the president said.
Diwali thus is a time to reflect and celebrate the joyous achievements of all in our country. Let us use the celebration of Diwali to renew and reinvigorate our commitment to work together as one family in building a just, inclusive and prosperous South Africa.
Ramaphosa said the universal message of Diwali resonated with all South Africans.
It is a message of hope, love, caring for the wellbeing of all and working together for the mutual prosperity of all. One of the central messages of Diwali is the oneness of humanity and that all of life is equal and sacred.
May the blessings of Lord Rama and Mother Sita be showered upon you and your family and friends on this auspicious occasion of Diwali, Ramaphosa concluded in his message.
Ashwin Trikamjee, President of the South Africa Hindu Maha Sabha, endorsed Ramaphosa's message as he appealed to the community to consider sharing what they enjoyed on Diwali with their fellow citizens who were suffering the effects of massive unemployment and poverty on their doorsteps.
This is still being felt after the widespread rioting and looting of July last year, and in the spirit of Diwali celebrating the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, we as Hindus would do well to assist our neighbours, many of whom are without food and after the recent floods, some even without adequate water supplies or even a permanent roof over their heads, Trikamjee said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Oct 24 2022 | 11:54 PM IST

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