Diwali is a time for festivity and happiness transcending all faiths and an occasion to share joy with the needy, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said greeting the nation on the eve of the festival.
"On the joyous occasion of Diwali, I extend my warm greetings and good wishes to my countrymen in India and around the world. 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. On this auspicious occasion, let us channelise our energies towards vanquishing want and suffering and strive hard for collective growth," he said.
The President wished that the festival of lights would dispel darkness and bring joy and prosperity to all.
"I urge all Indians to try and celebrate a pollution-free Diwali," he said.
Prime Minister's message on 'Diwali':
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has been concerned over the atmosphere of perceived gloom over last several months, today utilised the occasion of Diwali to express hope that a "new phase of optimism" will dawn on countrymen.
In his Diwali message, Singh has wished peace and prosperity for the people.
He expressed hope that the festival of lights this year will "mark the beginning of a new phase of optimism" for each one of the countrymen, a PMO statement said.
Singh, whose government has been battling a number of corruption allegations and attack over economic decisions like FDI in retail, has been maintaining that "mindless atmosphere of negativity and pessimism" would hurt the country, particularly the investment prospects.
On Saturday, he said his government had dispelled the atmosphere of 'gloom and doom'.
Earlier, in a televised address, the Prime Minister had asked people not to be misled by "false information" being spread to create fear over various economic decisions.
Warning against the country slipping back into 1991 economic crisis, he had said time has come for "hard decisions" to put the country on the path of high and