74th Republic Day celebrated at the Indian Consulate in Atlanta
The festivities for the 74th Republic Day of India began early in the morning at 9 am at the lush green lawns of the Indian Consulate in Atlanta on January 26. At 10 am, the gathering moved from the inside warmth of the building to the treacherous cold breeze, free flowing through the lawns. The Indian Tricolor flag was hoisted as the group sang the Indian national anthem, and rose petals streamed down from the flag. The attendees took turns to bow their heads and pay floral tribute to the bust of Mahatma Gandhi.
[Left] Dr. Swati Kulkarni, CGI Atlanta, with dignitaries and community leaders to celebrate Indian Republic Day.
Once inside, the Indian President, Droupadi Murmu’s speech was played out on a screen. The message reverberated loud and clear for all attendees that India is on a formidable growth path and ready and willing to stake its rightful place in the world. Later, the attendees were invited to partake in the warm refreshments.
The Republic Day banquet was facilitated at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center on the evening of January 27. This year’s invited guest list included: State Senators Shawn Still, Brandon Beach, Sheikh Rahman, and Nikki Meritt; State Representatives: Long Tran, Shelly Hutchinson, and Matt Reeves; Mayor of Sandy Springs, Rusty Paul; Johns Creek Police Chief, Mark Mitchell; Fulton County School Board Members: Kristin McCabe and Kimberly Dove; as well as Consul Generals of Japan and Switzerland. Also present were community leaders from the community.
While everyone was standing and mingling with other attendees, the screen on either side of the stage played the recording of the actual Republic Day parade held on the morning of January 26 at Kartavya Path, New Delhi.
Consul Madan Kumar Ghildiyal was the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. The evening started with all rising to join in the singing of the Indian and American national anthems.
A host of cultural performances marked the Indian Republic Day
celebrations organized by the Indian Consulate in Atlanta.
Dr. Swati Kulkarni, Consul General of India in Atlanta, was invited to give her remarks. She spoke of the highlights in President Murmu’s address to the nation where she spoke of how the Indian Constitution is inspired by the humanistic philosophy of the oldest living civilization in the world as well as new ideas that emerged in more recent history. She also spoke of the effect of the pandemic and how guided by able leadership and driven by resilience, India soon came out of the downturn which was made possible by timely and proactive interventions from the Government.
“The respect that India has earned on the world stage has resulted in new opportunities as well as responsibilities. This year, India holds the presidency of the Group of 20 nations. Under India’s leadership, I am sure, G20 will be able to further enhance its effortsto build a more equitable and sustainable world order. I commend the roles of farmers, workers, scientists, and engineers whose combined strength enables our country to live up to the spirit of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan.’ I appreciate every citizen who contributes to the nation’s progress,” she said.
Dr. Kulkarni also expressed her satisfaction with the Consular staff and their collective annual achievements.
The entertainment for the evening included a performance by autistic kids organized by Pure Hearts, Mohiniyattam by Team Natya Mayuri, a Bengali composition “Momo Chitte” as well as a fusion dance by Deeksha School of Performing Arts, Tabla Trap by Nritya Natya Kala Bharti Dance and Music Academy, and finally a Chola dance performance by Bharat Kala Natya Group. All performers were honored with a Certificate of Excellence by the Consulate.
One person specifically pulling all the threads in the background to present a spectacular show has been Dr. Kulkarni’s personal assistant, Mini Nair.
—By Viren Mayani
Photos by Magic Dust Photography
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