US Congresswoman to introduce a bill to make Diwali a federal holiday: Report

If the bill is accepted in Congress, Diwali would be recognised at all federal institutions with significant populations that engage in its celebration.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is expected to push a bill in the US Congress on Wednesday, aiming to establish Diwali as a federal holiday in the country. According to the reports, the democrat Congresswoman from New York will be joined by an India caucus, including Congressmen Ro Khanna and Raja Krishnamoorthi and other advocates while introducing the bill.

Sanjeev Joshipura, Executive Director, Indiaspora, will also be joining the group to introduce the legislation as a representative of the Indian-American community members.

If the bill is accepted in Congress, Diwali would be recognised at all federal institutions with significant populations that engage in its celebration and acknowledge the culture of all the Indian Americans who celebrate the festival in the United States. 

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has been a longtime advocate for the recognition of India’s culture and heritage in the United States, and also an ardent supporter of the Indian diaspora. Earlier this year in August, she pushed for legislation to posthumously bestow Mahatma Gandhi with the Congressional Gold Meda, the highest civilian honour in the US, ahead of India’s independence day. 

Just days before, the Congresswoman also attended the Diwali celebration taking place at Times Square in New York. “It was an honour to celebrate Diwali this evening in Times Square with my friends and colleagues in government,” she tweeted, further extending her wishes to all those who celebrate the festival. 

Maloney has also collaborated with several other advocates across the country to drive the efforts in pressing the US Postal Services to issue a stamp commemorating the festival of Diwali. The stamp was, thereafter, issued in 2016 and has been termed by her as one of the highest-selling stamps in the history of US Postal Services.

Earlier today, she Tweeted in honour of 5 years of the Diwali stamp’s issuance, stating that she was “proud to have led the legislation that helped make this happen.”

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