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Republic Day at the Consulate with the President’s speech

By Mahadev Desai
March 2019
Republic Day at the Consulate with the President’s speech


(Left) Face paint celebrations. (Photo: Digital Touch Intl.)

India’s 70th Republic Day was celebrated with national pride at the Consulate General of India – Atlanta, on Saturday morning, January 26, 2019, followed by a grand reception in the evening at the Studio Theatre, New City Hall, Sandy Springs, in metro Atlanta.

Despite biting cold, the morning celebration was well attended by over 250 members of the Indian community, as well as the Consulate's smartly attired officers and their families, including Consul General Dr. Swati Kulkarni, Mr. Shailesh Lakhtakia (Consul, Head of Chancery, Community Affairs), Mr. L. T. Ngaihte (Consul, Political and Consular), Mr. Asim Kumar (Consul, Admin), Mr. P. Jeya Pazham (Vice Consul), Mr. Bikash Kumar (Pr. Sec. to CG), Mr. Pradeep Kumar (ASO), Ms. R. Sethulakshmi (ACO), Mr. Deepak Kumar (PA to CG and Visa), and others.

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(Left) Many children were there to see the Tiranga being unfurled at the brief ceremony, after which the gathering sang the Indian national anthem, clapped, and joyfully shouted “Bharat mata ki Jai” as flower petals floated gently down on the Consulate lawn. (Photo: Digital Touch Intl.)

All moved inside, where the Consul General warmly welcomed all.



(Right) The audience listening to the President’s speech. (Photo: Magic Dust Photography)

She proceeded to read from the President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind’s rousing and inspiring address to the nation given on the eve of India’s 70th Republic Day. All listened intently and could follow along in a handout of the speech.

“Every Republic Day is precious, but this year is a little extra special. On October 2, we will mark the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, who led us—and who inspired oppressed societies in Asia, Africa, and elsewhere—to freedom from colonial rule. Gandhiji remains the moral compass of our Republic….”

The President urged voters to cast their vote in the upcoming general and Lok Sabha elections. He noted the continuing progress by India in economy, infrastructure, universal and equitable healthcare, housing, gender equity, in education, and connectivity through mobile phones and data access. Leapfrogging technologies and leapfrogging enlightenment are empowering our farmers and equipping our soldiers.

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Consul General Dr. Swati Kulkarni reading President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind's address to the nation. CG Kulkarni. (Photos: Digital Touch Intl.)

She continued reading, “The human experience is built on partnerships. Partnerships are the thread knitting together family, nation, and world—and leading to the treatment of the World as a family: Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.” And she concluded, “India’s global approach—whether in peace-keeping, climate change mitigation, development of partnerships, or humanitarian assistance and disaster relief are earning India a new respect in the international system.”

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Dr. Kulkarni and Mr. Lakhtakia wished all a very Happy Republic Day. The cheery wives of the Consulate officers, Consulate’s ladies staff, and also from the community, dressed in colorful saris, salwar kameez, kurtis, etc., conversed, took pictures, posed for selfies, and all relished the delicious refreshments accompanied with evergreen and memorable patriotic songs “Aye mere watan ke logon” and more.


Consulate officers, staff, and families. (Photos: Digital Touch Intl.)

Website Bonus Feature

the President’s speech, Republic Day 2019


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