Indians in New Zealand have the potential to do more and gain the hearts of their compatriots in India and other parts of the world, one of the most prominent personalities of our times has said.
Former Governor of the Indian State of West Bengal Gopalkrishna Gandhi (grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari, First Governor General of Independent India) said that Indians hold the corner of New Zealand’s heart and that they are the cornerstone for a stronger link between the two countries.
“It is not an India-New Zealand link or a Business-As-Usual link but a Business-As-Never-Before Link,” he said.
“It holds the promise for a New Zealandic imagination for the protection of that part of Planet Earth, which gave humankind its great ‘First.’ You have done India proud of you in New Zealand. Now the time comes for you to do something which makes New Zealand proud of you in India and indeed globally,” he said.
Mr Gandhi was speaking at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards (IBA) Presentation Ceremony held on Monday, November 19, 2012 at Sky City Convention Centre, at which he was a Guest of Honour.
He was a guest of this newspaper and the Mother Teresa Interfaith Committee, flown by Singapore Airlines, courtesy of BNZ Partners, Title Sponsor of IBA.
Mr Gandhi said that Himalaya beckoned attention, with a myriad of challenges including health and the well-being of residents.
“If Indian New Zealanders, led by their business leaders can bring to the Himalaya a typically New Zealandic plan for the conservation of Himalayan glaciers, their forests, their rivers and built heritage, they will be doing something wonderful.
“Specifically, if Indian New Zealanders, who, with their fellow citizens of this lovely land, have known the fury of earthquakes can advise Himalayan India, peninsular India and littoral India on how seismic shocks can be faced, they will be called blessed,” he said.
His speech appears verbatim in this Special Report, since scores of guests who attended the Awards Ceremony and others had requested us that his address be printed for the larger benefit of people.
“Mr Gandhi’s speech was truly inspirational and the finest that we have heard in a long time,” they said.
Gopalkrishna Gandhi with John Banks
Fusion Dance by Ratna Venkat
The Band, ‘Gurus of Groove’
A performance by V4U Entertainments
dance number by Mumta & Yogesh Gounder
Guests of Honour
Among the other Guests of Honour at the Awards Ceremony were Deputy Prime Minister (then Acting Prime Minister) Bill English, Opposition Leader David Shearer, Indian High Commissioner Avanindra Kumar Pandey, Auckland Mayor Len Brown, BNZ Board Chairman John Waller and BNZ Partners Director Anthony Healy. Among the other notable guests were Small Business Minister John Banks, Members of Parliament, Auckland City Councillors, Chairmen, Chief Executives and top executives of public and private sector undertakings and others.
The Sponsors of this year’s Awards included KPMG, Singapore Airlines, 2degrees Mobile Limited, New Zealand Mint Limited, Unitec Institute of Technology, The Ranchhod Group, Kalamazoo Group, New Zealand Career College, Patton Limited, Triangle Television and Radio Tarana.
A panel of judges, independent of this newspaper received the entries in 12 categories and evaluated them. The names of finalists and winners in each category and the winner of the Supreme Business Award were announced at the Ceremony, at which Auckland Councillor Christine Fletcher was the Master of Ceremonies.
The entertainment segment included classical fusion dances by Ratna Venkat in collaboration with ‘Gurus of Groove,’ comprising Joseph Alexander (Electronic Drums & Octopad), Joscel Alexander (Acoustic Drums), James Fromont (Lead Guitar), Everard Fernandes (Bass Guitar) and Hemant Thaker (Keyboards), dances by V4U Entertainments Limited and Yogesh and Mumta Gounder.