Pran Prathishta of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya “gives Hindus a reason to celebrate”: NYC Mayor Eric Adams

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, right, with Hindu priest, center, and NYC Deputy Commissioner of International Affairs Dilip Chauhan, Jan. 6, 2024, at Geeta Mandir. PHOTO: ANI

New York: Hindus not just in India but also from South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities living in New York City “have a reason to celebrate and lift their spirituality,” Mayor Eric Adams asserted on Saturday, January 6, 2024.

Mayor Adams attended a Mata Ki Chowki, a religious celebration, at the Geeta Mandir in the city. Adams — joined by one of his top allies Deputy Commissioner of International Affairs Dilip Chauhan- thanked and highlighted the “importance of true faith and the importance of worship.”

When asked about the opening of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and what it meant to the Hindus of New York City, Adams said that the opening is “extremely important.”

“We have one of the largest Indian populations here in the city and (Ram Mandir opening) allows them to celebrate and lift their spirituality to help us all in the healing process,” Mayor Adams told the Hindu community members.

On Diwali, the 110th mayor of New York City, Adams announced the Festival of Lights as a New York City public school holiday. The announcement came after state lawmakers approved a bill, first introduced in 2021 and reintroduced in 2022. Supporters, especially the Indian American Community of New York, had been attempting to get the date on the public school calendar for more than two decades.

“I would like to add how Mayor Adams loves the Hindu community, he is the first in history to declare Diwali as a public holiday”, said Chauhan expressing gratitude to the Mayor’s move of declaring Diwali a holiday.

The push for official recognition of Diwali comes as South Asians have gained numbers and clout in New York and nationally. The population of New York City residents categorized as Asian Indian by the Census Bureau has more than doubled in the last three decades, from 94,000 in 1990 to about 213,000 in the 2021 American Community Survey.

Adams won New York City’s mayoral race in 2021 on promises to boost public safety and give voice to working-class residents, drawing on his experience as a police captain and as a Black man who experienced police brutality as a youth.

In his remarks to the community, Adams was not shy about accepting the support from the Hindu community and said that his triumph was a result of his faith, the faith of the Hindus and the blessing of temple priest Swami Satyanand of Geeta Temple in New York.

“I know that prayer works, I know that we show and display our faith we can overcome all obstacles and the challenges and difficulties that come with becoming a mayor. It was due to my faith. It was due to your breath. It was due to your belief that I’m here today.”

“When we were running to become mayor, you blessed me and told me that I would be the mayor of New York City and as we see today, seven years later,” Adams told Swami Satyanand.

Adams also made a special mention of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita and the importance of their teachings as he thanked the South Asian community.

“And just say thank you and we will travel this journey together as we continue forward. We live in the spirit and energy of Rama and Sita. The sacrifices, the dedication to commitment is what is going to take us through these difficult moments,” Adams concluded.



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