|File: Jack Warner greets guests when he attended Divali Nagar in 2010|
“In the Government of the People’s Partnership under the leadership of our Prime Minister, the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Divali Nagar and the National Council of Indian Culture of Trinidad and Tobago (NCICTT) have genuine friends," the Chaguanas West MP stated.
“Our love and commitment remains as strong as it has been over the last two-and-a-half decades,” he added.
Warner noted that Divali Nagar is the first Hindu theme park to be established in the world. The NCIC hosted its first Divali Nagar at Mid Centre Mall, Chaguanas in 1986 under the chairmanship of Dr Rampersad Parasram.
Its founders included Hans Hanoomansingh, who was at the time President of the NCIC, and Deokienanan Sharma, the current head of the organisation.
Warner paid tribute to NCIC's founders and those who have kept the organisation alive. “In a country like ours it is so easy to forget,” the UNC chairman said.
He described Divali Nagar as a forum for an understanding of Hindu customs and culture. “Hinduism is a way of life that goes back 5,000 years," he said. "It is a system of values that is based on devotion to God and the pursuit of righteousness. It teaches us how to live. It teaches us we must respect our elders and our parents. It teaches us that we must be compassionate to our neighbours and all of those around us.”
This year the theme of the celebration focused on Lord Hanuman's service and loyalty.
The national Security Minister paid tribute to the Hindu deity Lord Hanuman, suggesting that citizens can learn from Hanuman's devotion of Hanuman to Lord Ram. “We must love our country as Hanuman loved Ram," he said. "And that duty is to be good citizens; model citizens. We must be proactive citizens."