The entire nation on Tuesday celebrates the festival of light, 'Diwali', with gaiety and enthusiasm.
'Diwali' or 'Deepavali' is celebrated to mark the triumph of good over evil. On this auspicious day, people exchange greetings, gifts and sweets to greet each other.
On this auspicious day, leaders extended their warm greetings and wishes to the people of the country.
President Pranab Mukherjee said, "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.
Vice President Hamid Ansari also greeted the nation.
"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," Ansari said in his message.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh 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.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi also greeted the nation on the eve of Diwali.
"This festival of light brings out the pluralistic culture that our country represents," Gandhi said in her message.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar extended her wishes to the people on Diwali.
"I extend my heartiest greetings to my brothers and sisters, in India and abroad, on this festival of lights which also symbolises the triumph of truth and knowledge over evil and ignorance. While we celebrate this joyous occasion, we are reminded of the values of benevolence and righteousness," she said.
She asked the people to make it a Green Diwali.
"Let this Diwali be a celebration of mutual respect, affection and care, which also takes care of the less fortunate and underprivileged. Let the joy and gaiety of the festival be a harbinger for a more prosperous and egalitarian India," Kumar said.
Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan wished for joy, health and wealth to the people on the occasion of Diwali.
"May the light that we celebrate on Diwali show us the way and lead us together on the path of peace and social harmony. Let the belief of Diwali prevail that good will always triumph over evil, for a dark night must always make way for morning light and the spirit illuminate our great nation," Khan said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee greeted people on the eve of Kali Puja and Diwali.
"On the auspicious occasions of Kali Puja and Diwali, I extend my heartiest greetings and best wishes to all my brothers and sisters," Banerjee said in a message.
"Let the light of joy, happiness and prosperity brighten our homes," she said.
Let us keep our nation away from the menace of corruption and price rise, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said while conveying Diwali greetings to people.
"Let us pray that our country be blessed with inner brightness to keep our nation away from the menace of corruption and price rise. It is only then that we can free the poor from poverty and make everyone an integral part of our development journey," Modi said in his message.
"Let us all get rid from blind faith...and move towards an environment of faith and trust. All countrymen, who are enjoying swarajya (independence), should move towards swaraj (good governance)," Modi added.
Conveying Diwali and New Year greetings, Modi in his message said: "May the coming year bring lots of peace, joy and prosperity in our lives."
" Diwali has been an integral part of our culture since thousands of years, commemorating the time when Lord Sri Ram returned victorious to Ayodhya," he said.
On the occasion, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the festival of light is a symbol of victory of goodness over evil and it should be celebrated to usher in peace, prosperity and amity in the society.
Kumar, who is undertaking a week-long visit to Pakistan, urged the people to take pledge this Diwali to educate their children so as to make the younger generation good human beings.
Delhi Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit wished citizens a happy Diwali and asked them not to burst crackers for the sake of environment.
In his message, Khanna hoped that the festival of lights will enlighten the minds and hearts of all citizens so that they live in mutual harmony and respect.
In her message, Dikshit called upon the people to avoid bursting of crackers and celebrate a clean and pollution-free Diwali.
The chief minister expressed confidence that the festival will bring prosperity and happiness in the lives of the citizens.
Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy also wished people on Diwali.
"This festival of lights signifies the victory of righteousness over the evil. I am sure occasions like this inspire us to conquer the evils of modern day and build a society in which peace, amity and communal harmony prevail," the Governor said in his message.
Reddy greeted the people of Andhra Pradesh and Telugu people all over the world on the occasion of Diwali.
In his message, Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) President Botsa Satyanarayana said, "the festival of lights is a harbinger of peace, joy and prosperity."
Puducherry Chief Minister N.Rangasamy greeted people on Diwali festival.
In his message, he said he wished that the festival brings in happiness and prosperity in every household.
Minister of State in PMO V.Narayanasamy also extended his greetings to the people.
Local Administration Minister N G Panneerselvam, Welfare Minister P.Rajavelu, AIADMK Puducherry unit secretary A Anbalagan MLA and PCC leader A V Subramanian besides leaders of various parties also greeted the people.
In his message, Puducherry LT Governor Iqbal Singh said "this is one festival where people across the country give expression to their happiness by lighting lamps, decorating the houses, bursting firecrackers and inviting near and dear ones to their households."
Singh also said the festival brought to limelight importance of light `which is recognised as a gift of God and a metaphor for knowledge. It is a moment to reckon the gift of god`, he said, extending his greetings.
Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa along with other leaders in the state extended their greetings to people.
Rosaiah, in his greetings, said: "May the 'Festival of Lights' illuminate in us more brilliance, bring in progress and prosperity, wipe out darkness of ignorance, ignite the spirit of unity and dedication in our mission to take our nation to greater heights."
Jayalalithaa in her message, said, "On this Diwali day, let the people receive the blessings of God.And this joy shall remain forever with them. On this day, I wish all my heartiest Diwali greetings."
DMDK founder and Principal Opposition leader Vijayakant, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president B S Gnanadesikan and BJP state leader Pon Radhakrishnan also extended their greetings.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi hoped that the festival of Diwali would bring in joy and peace.
"May the festival of lights dispel darkness and gloom and bring joy, happiness and prosperity to all sections of the society and promote goodwill among all communities", he said.