By Indranil Halder
To celebrate Azadiki Amrit Mahotsav in LandDown Under, Indian Navy’s INS Sumedha arrived at Fremantle Port, Perth for four days. So did Kapil Dev and Abhishek Bachchan. They joined Melbournians and Indian Film Festival of Melbourne festival director Mitu Bhowmik in hoisting the tricolour in Federation Square.
In Sydney, we celebrated the 75th Indian Independence Day listening to a brilliant speech on India, given by Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales at the PowerHouse Museum and watching NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet lighting Opera House in Indian tricolours. Numerous celebrations took place in Sydney, Parramatta and Harris Park. The three day long celebration included cultural performances, awards, food and fun.
Landmarks across Sydney with rest of Australia were lit up in the tricolours to celebrate the day. In the Indian Consulate, Castlereagh Street, Sydney, Mr M Gupta read the address to the nation by Hon’ble Indian President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu who stated, “India as the country is completing 75 years as an independent nation.Fourteenth August is observed as ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’ so as to promote social harmony, unity and empowerment of people.
Tomorrow marks the day when we had freed ourselves from the shackles of colonial rulers and decided to reshape our destiny. As all of us celebrate the anniversary of that day, we bow to all those men and women who made enormous sacrifices to make it possible for us to live in a free India.” It was a great honour for me to invite and welcome Palash Nandy ( CEO & Managing Director of $300 million dollar Legrand) to celebrate the day with Indian community of Sydney at the Indian Consulate, Sydney.
On June 30, 2022, Consulate General of India, Sydney organised an evening of culture, arts and literature to launch A Coffee Table Book, “Challenges, Opportunities & Successes”. It celebrates 75 Inspirational stories of Indian – Australians such Prabir Saha, Tanima Banerjee and Saroni Roy. A panel discussion was held with six high achievers, namely, Melissa Monteiro, Reena Jethi, Depinder Chhibber, Rohit Pathak, Sewa Singh Redhu and Saba Zaidi Abdi, who are included in the book and moderated by Sheba Nandkeolyar.
At Parramatta, Little India Harris Park Business Association Inc. joined hand with Sydney Connexions to host an unforgettable evening of cultural celebration and recognitions. Lord Mayor of Parramatta Donna Davis, Deputy Mayor Sameer Panday, Sanjoy Deshwal , President of Little India Business Association, Harris Park invited everyone to visit Parramatta and Harris Park to see the tricolour lights across the Parramatta river and buildings. A huge crowd gathered to celebrate the day in Parramatta too.
On Friday, 12 August 2022, The Powerhouse Museum and IABCA organised opening night of Charkha and Kargha Indian Textiles Exhibition with the Powerhouse Museum Collection, in light of Indian Independence Day celebration. It was attended by Urmi Talukdar, Prabal Chatterjee, Dee Mukerjee, Akashdeep Sen, Ritwik Sarkar, Mala Mehata and Sonia Gandhi amongst others.
Indian Government also gifted to Australian powerhouse museum : Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecarft models and financed the presence of four weavers from India at the exhibition. Delicious Indian canapés were served by Javed Khan’s Delhi O Delhi restaurant from New Town. While the Australian Consulate-General office in Kolkata, India ran a contest to celebrate 75 years of Australia India friendship with a competition to win Aussie gift bags.
These are some of the many glimpses from the biggest Indian Independence Day celebration in Australia ever.