What is Diwali and how it’s celebrated with Dr. Manish Tayal

This week on the Diverse Minds podcast we are going to be talking all about the festival of Diwali and how you can celebrate in your workplace. If you don’t know what that is, then fear not, as this week’s guest is going to tell you all about it. 

I am joined by the extremely qualified Dr. Manish Tayal MBE Surgeon Commander in the British Royal Navy.

Listen to the episode

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About my guest

Dr. Manish Tayal MBE joined the Royal Navy in 2004, following medical training in St Andrews and Manchester, and fresh from NHS practice in South Fife. A proud Mancunian now residing in Winchester with his wife and son. 

Manish is responsible for healthcare governance and delivery of primary and pre-hospital emergency care in the maritime operational environment. He also continues to practice clinically in Worthy Down, home of the Defence College of Logistics, Policing, and Administration, and also mentors junior medical personnel. 

Passionate about Diversity and Inclusion, Manish developed and implemented Inclusive Leadership training and speaks regularly on the subject, both within Defence and externally. He sits on the South West, Wales & London Police Ethics Board, and the London Police Challenge Forum, and is currently involved in developing the Naval Service Ethics Programme. 

He also established the Defence Hindu Network, and We Were There Too, a project that seeks to explore, commemorate and share Indian experiences of the First World War, and is a member of the Internal Challenge Group for Project LIBRA, focused on improving RN engagement with British ethnic minority communities. For his work on race, faith and inclusion in Defence, he was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

Bringing together his operational, clinical, and diversity and inclusion interests, Manish also supports Service personnel who are experiencing mental ill-health themselves or caring for family members with mental health issues. He also sits on the advisory panel for a national campaign to raise awareness and access, and improve outcomes for those with mental health problems in British Asian communities. Manish draws strength and solace from religion, particularly his own Hindu faith, but is most at peace when immersed in dance, whether dancing himself or watching others perform.

In today’s show, we talk about:

  • What Diwali is all about. [03:51]
  • How Manish created an open and inclusive culture for Diwali to be celebrated in the Royal Navy. [07:23]
  • About the Defence Hindu Network, how it started, how it works and how active it is. [13:00]
  • How all workplaces can embrace and celebrate Diwali. [19:34]
  • About his outreach work with BAME communities to raise awareness of The Royal Navy [28:14]
  • About the work he does with service personnel that experience mental-ill health. [32:02]

Connect with my guest:

Dr Manish Tayal on LinkedIn and Twitter

The Royal Navy website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube

Helpful resources I mentioned in this episode:


  • You can never learn enough.
  • Being offended doesn’t make you right, and offending somebody doesn’t necessarily make you wrong.
  • One of the things that we do during Diwali is worshiping Lord Ganesh.
  • In order to maximise operational effectiveness, and in order to support our people, we need the support of the British in the communities.
  • Diwali is relevant to all of us.

Work with me

If you fancy working with me on a one-to-one basis, feel free to email me at leyla@diverseminds.co.uk or book a time so that we can chat about what might be right for you. Have a look at the Diverse Minds website to find out about training packages I offer to businesses. 

Subscribe to the podcast

If you enjoyed this episode, then consider subscribing on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you access your podcasts from. 

You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Remember to tune in to next week’s episode, where I’ll bring you more insights into mental health and inclusion.

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