Wellington, August 15, 2020
Happy Indian Independence day!
Congratulations to the land of my birth and to my fellow Indian New Zealanders as we celebrate 73 years of Indian indpependence.
Today is a day of rememberance as we pay tribute to the men and women across India who fought for what they believed in and gave up their lives to achieve independence.
On this day, we celebrate ancient India, one of the oldest and richest civilisations, and her significant contributions on the global stage.
We also celebrate modern India, the largest functioning democracy that has made significant economic and industrial progress over the last several years.
This year, my thoughts and prayers also go to everyone in India as they too grapple with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
India and New Zealand have a longstanding, warm relationship. Our ties go back to the 1800s, with Indians settling in New Zealand as early as the 1850s. Our relationship has strengthened over time and today, our vibrant and diverse Kiwi Indian community contributes enormously to New Zealand’s society, culture and economy – and in virtually every sector.
This year, I also want to specially acknowledge the contributions made by various organisations to support families and international students who needed additional assistance as we all deal with Covid-19. It has been, and continues to be, a tough time for many but it was special to see many of our Kiwi Indian organisations, Mandirs and Gurdwaras work collectively as part of our team of five million with the government to eliminate Covid-19 from our shores.
Thank you all for the part you continue to play as we deal with the impact of this pandemic and we keep moving to rebuild our economy together.
Priyanca Radhakrishnan is a Member of Parliament on Labour List for Maungakiekie and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Ethnic Communities Minister.