Priyanka Dutta, Kolkata: Diwali is a festival of the Hindu religion but also has significance for Sikhs, Janists and Buddhists. It is called the festival of lights because Diwali marks the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Also known as Deepavali, it is the biggest festival in India.
Well this festival is not about the lighting of Diyas and Candles, it becomes more than that. As not even Diwali greetings are free of fights on Social Media. Debate has started on social media this week if the greeting should be ‘Diwali mubarak’ or ‘Shubh Diwali’.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Twitter feed is lighting up with comments from irritated members of Canada’s Indian community, after he used the Arabic word ‘Mubarak’ to wish them a happy Diwali.
“Diwali Mubarak!” Trudeau tweeted on Monday. “We’re celebrating in Ottawa tonight. #HappyDiwali!” The tweet included a photo of Trudeau lighting a candle, while wearing an Indian sherwani.
His use of Arabic triggered a flood of comments on the tweet, with some eager to correct the PM on his choice of language. Many Indians replied to Trudeau’s greetings, criticising him for using ‘Diwali Mubarak’, which according to them, is associated with Muslim festivals such as Eid. They said the appropriate way to wish was to say ‘Shubh Diwali’ or ‘Happy Diwali’. But others countered this argument by calling out the hypocrisy in taking umbrage at ‘Diwali Mubarak’ but being fine with ‘Happy Diwali’.
The Arabic word ‘Mubarak’ literally translates to “blessed”, but is often used colloquially to say congratulations or give greetings. A day before Diwali, prime minister Narendra Modi had tweeted good wishes at the start of the Gujrati new year, wishing them ‘Saal Mubarak’.
Those who were opposed to the idea of ‘Diwali Mubarak’ were at pains to point out that the usage was different in both cases. While Shubh Deepavali is the most usual way to wish in many parts of India, Diwali Mubarak is a fairly common greeting as well. This is the first time a debate has started over the usage of the term.
Pakistani actor Mahira Khan’s ‘Diwali Mubarak’ greeting on Wednesday was also ‘corrected’ by some users. Abhay Shrivastava commented on her tweet: “Its Happy diwali. But yeah!! Thankyou. Same to u. ”