Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Marking India's Independence Day

Victoria’s unique ties with India are highlighted at Independence Day ceremony at the Consulate General of India (Melbourne)

Reading Time: 3 minutesThey may have been thousands of kilometres away from Indian shores, but that did not stop the Indian diaspora from celebrating the 73rd Indian Independence Day in Melbourne with the same fervour as 1.3 billion people in India.
The event at the Consulate General of India office began with the flag-hoisting ceremony in the morning, followed by an Independence Day reception in the evening hosted by Consul General Raj Kumar.
The reception was attended by Pauline Richards MP, Member for Cranbourne and Victoria’s Premier’s representative, and members of the Indian diaspora, including the newly crowned Miss Universe Australia Priya Serrao.
In his address, the Consul General Raj Kumar, for whom this was the first Independence Day here in Melbourne, spoke of the unique ties Victoria has been able to build with India.
He said, “Victoria has attracted many communities, including Indians. Now, Victoria has the largest number of Indian diaspora compared to any other State. About 50,000 students study here. The Indian diaspora had been contributing to the economy and culture of this place, whether in government, education, research or business.”
Referring to exchange of visits at the highest level which have built significant momentum in India’s relationship with Victoria, Kumar said there have been fruitful engagements taking place between universities such as Melbourne, RMIT, Swinburne and La-Trobe with various institutes and business schools in India.
In the days following, the Indian community was heartened by the news of the University of Melbourne’s five-year strategy for India, launched by the university’s top brass in India. Only days before of course, La Trobe University bestowed a special honour on actor Shah Rukh Khan, news of which went viral not only in India but amongst the diaspora.
Besides education, the CG also pointed out the other bilateral areas that are calling out for greater engagement, such as digital technologies, agro businesses such as food processing, waste management and water management.
He also noted, “Building relationship between two countries is incumbent not only on the respective governments but on long lasting bonds which are built by the people of two countries and interactions between their societies.”
In her address, Pauline Richards MP, Member for Cranbourne and Victoria’s Premier’s representative, said her government is committed to Victoria’s vibrant, multicultural and multi-faith society, including the Indian community.
“We are a multicultural state but we are also in a vibrant city, Victoria is unique – we come from over 200 countries, speak more than 250 different languages and dialects and follow more than 130 faiths. Like India, Victoria’s diversity is our greatest asset and strength. The Indian community is the largest in community in Australia. Events like the India Independence help us to celebrate us Indian heritage,” said Richards.
Commenting on India’s Independence Day, entrepreneur, Tanvi Mor spoke for many of her compatriots present when she said, “Celebrating Indian Independence Day in Australia clearly gives me a platform to stand next to fellow Indians, connect back to my roots and pay respect to Indian freedom fighters.”
She added, “As an individual, I not only get an opportunity to share the pride of my motherland, but also share my identity with Australians and the accountability I hold on this land while representing my country.”
The event included a mesmerising performance by Kalakruthi School of Indian Classical Music, founded in Victoria in 1994, by internationally acclaimed Carnatic Guru Shobha Sekhar.

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s life

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Ep 6: The Indian LGBTQ+ community in 2020

  It’s been two years since the world’s largest democracy repealed the draconian Section 377 which used to allow discrimination against homosexual people. Only this...

Latest News

Seniors, adult, match, cricket, sport, outdoors, park, day, ball, holidays,

Have you registered yet for National Backyard Cricket Day?

  If you played gully cricket as a child in India, you're probably already into backyard cricket. Well, here's your chance to do a bit of...
indian diaspora

India has world’s largest diaspora: UN

  India has the world's largest diaspora with about 18 million people born there now living abroad, according to John Wilmoth, the director of UN's...
netflix film tribhanga

Review: Tribhanga (Netflix)

  The great thing about Kajol is she can light up a scene as few stars do, with her zeal to enthral. The flip side...

Tandav on Amazon Prime: REVIEW and backlash

  Tandav opens with a raging kisaan andolan in Greater Noida over a government decision to turn farm land into a SEZ for urbanisation. Soon,...
lilly singh

WATCH: Lilly Singh’s rivalry with her overachieving ‘cousin’, Kamala Harris

  "Growing up I always got compared to my Indian cousins," shares Lilly Singh, reminding us of those unforgettable sibling rivalries we've all experiences at...