Hindu Council of Australia celebrates Flag Hoisting in Hornsby Shire on August 15

By Neena Badhwar

Sydney celebrated Flag Hoisting Ceremony at various locations around Sydney. In the city at the Indian Consulate General Office situated at Castlereagh Street. The tricolour was unfurled across locations in other areas in East Ryde, Strathfield, Parramatta’s Jubilee Park including the one in Hornsby at Hornsby Park on Peats Ferry Road opposite the Hornsby Shire Council Office. People in and around Sydney could see Opera House sails lit in tricolour of the Indian flag on the night of the 15th of August. It was a soul-stirring moment for all who wanted to be a part of this worldwide celebration including India, of course. An occasion to celebrate an important milestone in the history of Independent India, its achievements, on its way to complete the century in the next 25 years. Many of us may or may not be alive to see that but August 15, 2022 will be the day that we all will remember how Australia and Australian Indians celebrated this great day.

One could not be physically present at all the locations but it was an intimate yet an emotional flag hoisting ceremony held at Hornsby with around seventy people comprising of local community members as well as members of the Hindu Council of Australia gathered to salute the Indian flag and celebrate 75 years of Indian Independence Day when Hornsby Shire Mayor Phillip Ruddock unfurled the flag.

Bhagwat Chauhan, President, HCA, NSW welcomed all who came to celebrate ‘Azadi Ka amrit Mahotsav’. People shouting the slogan ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ in patriotic fervour that ran high singing proudly Indian national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ followed by ‘Vande Matram’ sung by Rekha Kant, young Arushi Badle and Aditya from IABBV Hindi school, Vinod Rajput, Rajinder Jalpota with the crowd joining standing erect in salute to the proud Indian flag. Mr. Ruddock remembered his month-long visit to India and him meeting the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1982. He said as the Minister for Immigration during his tenure the government supported skilled migration from India fruits of which we see here how highly qualified skilled migrants make a strong workforce employed now in all the sectors including IT.

Preeti, Arushi Badle and Rajinder Jalpota: Bharat humko jaan se pyara hai

Young Arushi Badle sang ‘Bharat humko jaan se pyara hai’ in her beautiful soft voice whereas Vinod Rajput entertained all with the peppy ‘Ye Desh hai Veer Jawano Ko, Is desh ka yaaro kya kehna, ye desh hai duniya ka Gehna’ when people just got into a spirited jam dancing away. Mr. Ruddock watched the crowd enthused with excitement with Councillor Sallianne Mclelland joining in with the dancing crowd.

People carried on with patriotic songs sung in Hindi by Rajinder Jalpota as he sang ‘Ai Mere Pyare Watan’, in Telugu by Sushmita and Bengali as well, when Asha and Dr. Shumi sang, love of India pouring out no matter what, people expressed the feeling in the multiple languages by the diverse community that has settled in suburbs across Hornsby area. It was a soul-stirring, goose bump experience for all. Though away from home everyone felt close to India by being part of the ceremony remembering how India won its independence in 1947 due to the sacrifice of many and finally become an independent nation after foreign domination of over two centuries by the British.

Cr Sreeni Pillamarri

Councillor Sreeni Pillamarri congratulated Cr. Mclelland who had donned herself in beautiful Indian dupatta expressing her love of India and her support in this small yet beautiful ceremony. Ashwini Jain gave the final vote of thanks to all present.

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