Martin O’Malley, Governor of the US State of Maryland, observed Divali at a special reception for local dignitaries in the Governor’s Mansion on October 28.
The event commemorated the Hindu New Year, and was the first official Divali celebration in Maryland’s history.
During the event, Anuttama Dasa (center above), ISKCON’s Minister of Communications and a Maryland resident, presented the Governor (left) with the book, "Art of Transcendence," illustrating the history of Lord Ramachandra, the divine hero of Divali.
Pictured at right is Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown.
The Governor is the highest ranking official in the state, and has a broad range of appointive powers in state and local government, as provided by the state's Constitution. Because of the extent of these constitutional powers, the Governor of Maryland has been ranked among the most powerful governors in the United States.[ president ] [ usa ]