Indians to mark Republic Day

Indians from India will mark the 61st anniversary of their homeland becoming a Sovereign Democratic Republic with prayers, speeches and entertainment throughout the country.

Indian High Commissioner Retired Admiral Sureesh Mehta will hoist the Indian Flag and read out the speech of India’s President Pratibha Patil at a ceremony due to be held on January 26 (the actual day of India becoming a Republic) at his official residence in Lower Hutt.

A number of New Zealand Government officials and members of the community will be present at the function.

Several Indian associations are also organising programmes, most of them over weekends to enable better community participation.

The largest of these would indubitably be the celebrations scheduled to be held at the Mahatma Gandhi Centre of the Auckland Indian Association at Eden Terrace on January 29 at 1130 am.

Programme Coordinator and Kannada Koota President Prakash Biradar appealed to all Indian organisations to participate in the event with the members and contribute to the programme.

“The festivities will begin with a flag-hoisting ceremony at 1130 am, followed by a cultural programme,” he said.

As mentioned in our issue dated December 15, 2009, people of Indian origin from many parts of the world do not often understand the difference between Independence Day and Republic Day.

While India gained political freedom on August 15, 1947, it was not until almost three years later (on January 26, 1950) that it severed its connection as a state under the British Crown, adopted its own written constitution and declared that the Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Defence Force will be the President, elected by the Indian people.

New Delhi will witness one of the most colourful parades in the world with a stunning display of march past on horses, elephants and camels, floating tableaus and a remarkable aerial formation of fighters, bombers and other units of the Indian Air Force.

What: India’s Republic Day Celebrations

By Whom: New Zealand Central Indian Association

For Whom: All of us

When: Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 1130 am

Where: Mahatma Gandhi Centre

145 New North Road Eden Terrace

Contact: Prakash Biradar on 027-3701798

Email: pgbiradar@yahoo.com

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