Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made it clear that he does not want to gifts or bouquets this Diwali. He would be happy, Singh has told his aides, if people just conveyed their greetings.
This is the second year in running that the prime minister has expressed this desire. He had sent out a similar message on Diwali last year, asking people to contribute to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund instead.
This move was in the backdrop of the earthquake that killed hundreds in Jammu and Kashmir last October. It has been customary for people and dignitaries like governors, chief ministers and political leaders to send across bouquets, a custom that has been hard to break in one go.