Venkat Raman from Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Auckland, Sunday, August 20, 2017
India’s High Commissioner Sanjiv Kohli called upon the Indian community to be united so that their voice can be heard when and where it mattered.
Speaking at the 71st (and 70th Anniversary) India’s Independence at Mahatma Gandhi Centre of Auckland Indian Association, he said that the community was fragmented.
“You can take an Indian out of India but cannot take India out of an Indian. When an Indian is ill in New Zealand, a billion people pray in India. When an Indian dies in New Zealand, a billion people mourn in India. Some people say that the number of Indians is too small to matter. That is not correct. Even a small number, if united will make a big difference,” he said.
Mr Kohli had a dig at a journalist, citing the example of the India Independence celebrations held at Bharat Bhavan of the Indian Wellington Association held on Friday, August 18, 2017 as an example.
Journalist proved wrong
“A media expert had said that no more than 300 people would attend. We had 1100 people at the celebrations. These journalists do not know reality. They write some ‘Sh..’ online. These celebrations are not that of the Indian High Commission but that of every Indian,” he said.
Mr Kohli said he was very proud of the Indian community in India. Phil Goff, Mayor of Auckland, was the only other speaker. He spoke of the close relations between New Zealand and India and paid rich tributes to the government and people of India.
Earlier, the names of winners of the Poetic and Essay completions conducted by the Indian High Commission were announced. While the winners of the former were Wellington and Timaru, the winners of the Essay Competition in Auckland received their prizes from Kohli.
‘DWI, The Band’ from Bangalore presented a number of popular songs. The quality of their performance was one of the best heard thus far in New Zealand.
This programme has been organised by the Indian High Commission with several organisations including the New Zealand Indian Central Association, the Auckland Indian Association, Radio Tarana and Indian Weekender.
* Pictures hear show Mr Kohli and Mr Goff speaking and ‘DWI, The Band’ performing.