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The Consulate’s evening Republic Day celebration with the New Delhi parade

By Viren Mayani
March 2019
The Consulate’s evening Republic Day celebration with the New Delhi parade

 

(Left) Dancers of Kathak dance school Nritya Natya Kala Bharti performed.

After the morning observance of India’s 70th Republic Day at the Indian Consulate in Atlanta on January 26, 2019, Consul General Dr. Swati Kulkarni hosted a star-studded evening celebration at Sandy Spring’s new City Hall. The Studio Theatre was filled with attendees where a large screen streamed footage of India’s Republic Day parade in New Delhi.

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CG Kulkarni, Mayor Rusty Paul, Rep. Deborah Silcox, Commissioner Bob Ellis, Dr. Tom Price, and Consul Shailesh Lakhtakia. (Photo: SFA Productions)

In attendance were former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Tom Price and his wife Betty; State Representative Deborah Silcox (R - Sandy Springs, Dist. 52); Fulton County Commissioner Bob Ellis (R – N Fulton, Dist. 2); Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul; and State Representative Mike Wilensky (D – Dunwoody, Dist. 79). A slew of Consul Generals joined in, including Canada’s CG Nadia Theodore, and Japan’s CG Takashi Shinozuka and Deputy CG Yutaka Nakamura, Taipei’s Director General and Mrs. Vincent Liu; and Honorary CGs for Barbados - David Cutting, Jamaica - Dr. Elaine Bryan, and Hungary - John Parkerson.

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Rina Gupta with Hungary's Honorary CG John Parkerson. CG Swati Kulkarni with Taipei's Director General and Mrs. Vincent Liu.

The audience arose for the Indian and American national anthems. Dr. Tom Price then spoke of the warmth and hospitality that the Indian community has extended to him over the years. Representative Silcox was appreciative of being invited, and most of all, Mayor Paul was excited to host an international event of this repute. Consul General Kulkarni highlighted India’s successes and programs to serve the disadvantaged. She noted that Indian companies are creating offices in the U.S. and hiring local talent. She spoke of the many Indian students who pay fees to U.S. universities, thereby significantly contributing to the balance of trade, besides the traditional spending of the Indian Armed Forces for new technology and military armaments and fighter planes. She thanked the City of Sandy Springs for being a huge partner and supporting all efforts of the Indian Consulate.

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Nritya Natya Kala Bharti performing.

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(Left) Adithya Mukund on saxophone and Aditya Srivastava on flute performed Gandhi’s favorite hymn “Vaishnava Jana To.” (Photo: SFA Productions)

A dance was performed by Kathak dance school Nritya Natya Kala Bharti’s Anjali Tanna, Sarika Mehta, and Ishika Mehta, to a medley of a nationalistic song coupled with a Bollywood number. Two Georgia Tech students, Aditya Srivastava on flute and Adithya Mukund on saxophone, performed Gandhiji’s favorite hymn “Vaishnava Jana To.” Both performances were hugely applauded.

 

Sound and screen were managed by Sandeep Savla of AV Creations, and delicious food was catered by Ricky Walia of Masti. Master of Ceremonies was the Consulate’s Head of Chancery, Consul Shailesh Lakhtakia, who did an extraordinary job.

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Distinguished guests included, from left: 4th – Representative Mike Wilensky, 5th – Rep. Deborah Silcox, 8th - Mayor Rusty Paul, and 9th – Commissioner Bob Ellis.


 

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