Canadian poet Rupi Kaur, known for her impactful verses, has made a significant statement by declining an invitation from the United States White House to partake in a Diwali celebration.
The celebrated poet, originally from India, expressed her decision not to attend the dinner hosted by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday evening. Kaur’s refusal is rooted in her deep-seated concerns regarding the Biden administration’s ongoing support for Israel and its bombardment of Gaza.
In a statement posted on her social media channels, Rupi Kaur articulated her stance, stating, “I decline any invitation from an institution that supports the collective punishment of a trapped civilian population—50% of whom are children.”
Diwali, also referred to as the Festival of Lights, is a joyous occasion that signifies the victory of justice and light over darkness. This grand celebration holds immense cultural and religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains across the globe. It is marked by vibrant displays of lights, colorful festivities, dance, and music.
Kaur chose to convey her perspective through a heartfelt letter, underscoring the essence of Diwali as a celebration of righteousness prevailing over falsehood and knowledge conquering ignorance. During this period, she contemplated the struggle for freedom against oppression.
Rupi Kaur didn’t stop at personal reflection; she used her influence to call upon her followers to join the movement against the ongoing Gaza assault. In her message, she implored the South Asian community to hold the current administration accountable. Her impassioned plea urged people not to remain silent or complacent, emphasizing the high human cost of such a choice.
Kaur’s words carried a resounding call to action, “When a government’s actions dehumanize people anywhere in the world, it is our moral imperative to call for justice. Do not be afraid. Stand with the world and demand a humanitarian ceasefire. Many voices will join you when you speak. Let us sign petitions. Attend protests. Boycott. Call our reps and say – stop the genocide.”
It’s worth noting that Vice President Kamala Harris, who shares Indian heritage with Rupi Kaur, hosted an expansive White House Diwali event in her residence last year, welcoming over 200 guests, including prominent figures from the South Asian community.
In contrast, last year’s celebration involved President Biden’s remarks that highlighted the triumph of light over darkness in American history, particularly as experienced by minority communities in the United States. The poet’s bold decision to decline the White House invitation underscores her commitment to principles she holds dear.