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Rose petals and plans for India’s future mark Independence Day observance at Indian Consulate in Atlanta

By Viren Mayani
September 2014
Rose petals and plans for India’s future mark Independence Day observance at Indian Consulate in Atlanta

(Photos: Bytegraph)

Ever since the new Consulate for the Southeastern United States was inaugurated in Atlanta, Ambassador Ajit Kumar, Consul General of India, has regularly observed and celebrated India’s Independence Day with style. This year was no different as the mood was set with a preceding email by Ajit Kumar to the diaspora at large, with a link to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s address to the nation as presented on the Doordarshan Channel on Youtube. (See below or  http://tinyurl.com/ox7pobf )

Modi spoke in chaste Hindi and eloquently addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort. He began his remarks by referring to himself not as Prime Minister but Prime Servant. He benevolently thanked the servicemen of the armed forces for serving the nation and defending it from threats, for those laying down their lives for the country’s independence and for those daring to continue to serve the great nation.

He challenged the nation to ensure that all federal workers show up to work on time—a normal expectation. He challenged fathers to use the same measures for their daughters as they do with their sons—human crimes like rape will be severely punished. Girls also contribute to India’s fame and glory, and he cited the results of the recent Commonwealth Games wherein girls brought in 29 of the 64 total medals won by India. He announced the launch of “Pradhanmantri Jan-Dhan Yojana” in which the economically challenged account holder will be given a debit card. An insurance of one lakh rupees will be guaranteed with that debit card for each poor family, so that they are covered in case of any crisis in their lives.

He spoke of the young nation which is the envy of the world, as more than 65 percent of the population is under the age of 35 years—he spoke of skill training the grossly underemployed and unemployed youth and putting them to work. He spoke of increasing India’s manufacturing prowess and the desire to open the doors to the Global Economy with an open invitation “Come, Make in India.” He spoke of the progress Indians have made in the world of information technology and he urged the citizens to honor the dream of “Digital India” not just for the elite but to assist in bringing broadband connectivity to all villages for education, telemedicine, processing documents for banks / government, etc., and become self-reliant with respect to the hardware used.

Modi spoke of promoting tourism as it was a great source of employment to the poorest of the poor, but to promote that, we have to take care of the filth. He has challenged the nation to maintain cleanliness: “If one hundred and twenty five crore countrymen decide that they will never spread filth, which power in the world has the ability to spread filth in our cities and villages?” He spoke of the 150th Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019: “Mahatma Gandhi, who gave us freedom, who brought so much honor to such a big country in the world, what do we give to Mahatma Gandhi?” Cleanliness and sanitation was closest to his heart! He concluded his speech with: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. The army is vigilant, we should also be vigilant, and the country scales new heights, we have to move forward with this resolution. Speak loudly with me with full force: Bharat mata ki Jai, Bharat mata ki jai, Bharat mata ki jai – Jai Hind, Jai Hind, Jai Hind – Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram. Vande Mataram.”

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Promptly at 10:30 am on Friday August 15th, many besides the entire Consular staff with their respective families had gathered at the Consulate to participate in the festivities. Ajit Kumar read President Shri Pranab Mukherjee’s address to the nation as delivered on the eve of the 68th Independence Day. Excerpts from his recitation include: “Stagnant minds create immobile systems which become roadblocks to growth. India demands creative thinking in governance that enables fast track development and ensures social harmony. The nation has to be placed above partisan impulses. The people come first.” In the short but targeted remarks the President concluded with: “Our thoughts are influenced by our environment. Yadrishi Bhavana Yasya; Siddhir Bhavati Tadrishi – It means, Whatever are one’s thoughts, so will be the outcomes.”

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Ajit Kumar thanked the Diaspora for their contributions outside India in preserving the cultural richness and the economic prosperity of Indians globally. He invited attendees to the Consulate Lawns where he unfurled the Tiranga (Indian flag), and as the strings were loosened to hoist the flag, rose petals showered on the people below from the mast head. All present sang the Indian National Anthem with pride and reverence. Ajit Kumar welcomed all to a sumptuous lunch and delicious sweets to culminate another very well managed and tastefully presented Independence Day observance.

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Website Bonus Feature

Video:
"68th Independence Day Celebrations – PM’s address to the Nation - LIVE from the Red Fort"
Streamed live on Aug 15, 2014
On the occasion of our Nation's 68th Independence Day, we at Doordarshan, extend our warm regards to all Indians – all over the globe. It is the proud privilege of Doordarshan, India's National Broadcaster, to LIVE-STREAM the 68th Independence Day Celebrations from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort - on our official channel on YouTube. www.youtube/DoordarshanNational.
The Social Media team of Doordashan live-streaming this event - Ananya Banerjee (Media Consultant), Arjun Mehto (Senior Content Manager), Ranjan Kumar Singh (Creative Editor), Jaswinder Singh (Engineer) Vinod Gupta (Assistant Engineer).



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