Sharing national days is double the pleasure





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By Vijay Badhwar

The Indian President Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s loud and clear message on the nation’s 67 Republic Day was that terrorists sought to undermine order by rejecting the very basis of strategic stability. There was a civilised way to bridge disagreement but, “we cannot discuss peace under a shower of bullets”.

The President’s message was read by India’s Acting Consul General in Sydney, Dr Vinod Bahade, at the traditional flag-hoisting ceremony held this year at the Concord Function Centre.

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The function centre was packed with people, young and old, many among the most excited being the Indian seniors. India shares the national day with Australia, and being a public holiday it made it easier for the working community to attend the function.

The President’s message lamented the challenges India faced in 2015 – subdued global economy, severe drought and also devastating floods – but it was upbeat in forecasting a national growth rate of 7.3 per cent, a rarity on the world stage in the present times.

“The ‘Make-in-India’ campaign will boost manufacturing by facilitating easy conduct of business and improving competitiveness of domestic industry. The ‘Start-up India’ programme will foster innovation and encourage new-age entrepreneurship. The National Skill Development Mission envisages skilling 300 million youth by 2022,” the President’s message said.

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Dr Bahade also read the Hindi version of the message and after summarised the year’s achievements, among them organising the International Day of Yoga with the background of Sydney Opera House that ‘created a buzz not only in Australia but also in India’, continuing Yoga classes, India Tourism’s involvement in Parramasala and visits by several ministerial delegations from India. This year’s highlight will be organising the ‘Make in India’ conference and a Festival of India in Sydney, Dr Bahade said.

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The following cultural programme included singing of patriotic songs and reading of some lovely poems, written especially for the occasion, by Rekha Rajvanshi and Mr Parveen Gupta. Shobha Ingleshwar’ song ‘Chhodo kal ki baatein, kal ki baat purani, likhenge hum naye daur me phir se nayi kahani, hum Hindustani, hum Hindustani’ had all the 500 Sydneysiders in a jam-packed hall sing along with her.

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Meet and greet continued over snacks and tea, also an opportunity for getting into some group photos and Facebook postings.

 

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