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Indians world over mark I-Day with patriotic fervour, gaiety

Last updated on: August 15, 2010 16:32 IST

Indians world over mark I-Day with patriotic fervour, gaiety

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Patriotic fervour gripped Indians across the world on Sunday as they enthusiastically celebrated the country's 64th Independence Day by unfurling the tricolour and organising a series of cultural events and festivities.

In Beijing, Indian Ambassador S Jaishankar hoisted the tricolour at the Indian embassy premises in the presence of a large number of community members, including businessmen and professionals. He also read out President Pratibha Patil's address to the nation.

A similar function was held at the Indian Consulate in Shanghai, where Consul General Riva Ganguly Das unfurled the national flag. About 400 members of Indian community attended the event, including Indian medical students from Suzhou, Nantong and Nanjing universities in Jiangsu province.

In Abu Dhabi, the function commenced with the hoisting of the flag by M K Lokesh, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, who also read out the President's message, while Consul General Sanjay Verma unfurled the tricolour in Dubai.

With the event falling during the holy month of Ramadan which calls for austerity and fasting during the day time, grand cultural programmes and sweet distribution were avoided as a mark of respect for the local culture.

In Kuwait City, Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra hoisted the tricolour at a ceremony held at the embassy and similar events were organised in the Saudi capital of Riyadh and India's consulate in the port city of Jeddah.

On the eve of the Independence Day, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz had sent a congratulatory message to President Pratibha Patil and wished her permanent good health and happiness and India's people steady progress and prosperity. King Abdullah, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, hailed the relations between the two friendly countries and expressed his keenness to enhance them in all fields.


Image: Dr. Sanjay Gupta President of Indo-US council , Grand Marshal Shivamani and Mrs Gupta at the Atlantic City India Day function
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
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Security tightened around Indian Embassy in Pak

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In Singapore, more than 3,000 Indians took part in a function to mark the Independence Day, where High Commissioner T C A Raghavan hoisted the tricolour. Students from Indian schools sang the national anthem and patriotic numbers at the ceremony. Raghavan also read out the 'address to the nation' by President Patil.

In Islamabad, Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal
hoisted the tricolour at a function held at the country's mission, where the children and wives of the staff members sang patriotic songs. The High Commissioner's wife distributed gifts among the children of the staff. Security within the Diplomatic Enclave in the heart of Islamabad, where the Indian mission is situated, had been tightened ahead of Pakistan's Independence Day yesterday. All vehicles entering the enclave were thoroughly checked.

Image: NRI's celebrate India's Independence Day at a Parade in Atlantic City
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
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Akshay Kumar was in Toronto

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In Bangladesh's capital Dhaka, Indian High Commissioner Rajeeb Mittar unfurled the tricolour at the India House. "Some 400 Indian nationals in Dhaka joined the celebration at the India House (the High Commissioner's residence) where they sang the national anthem and patriotic songs," a spokesman of the mission said. The Indian High commission in Dhaka celebrates the day in a relatively low profile as it coincides with Bangladesh's 'National Mourning Day' in memory of the country's founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who along with most of his family members was assassinated on August 15, 1975.

    
In Toronto, Bollywood star Akshay Kumar joined thousands
of Indo-Canadians in celebrating the 64th Independence Day at the annual 'India Day Parade' at the Dundas Square area. Consul General of India, Preeti Saran, hoisted the tricolour as the community members sang patriotic songs. In a congratulatory message, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said "this historic day marks the culmination of an epic struggle to regain independence and the unleashing of a dynamic and enterprising nation. In the six decades since it became independent, India has come into its own as a vibrant democracy and an emerging superpower. Today, we have an occasion to reflect on this inspiriting story and to celebrate the deep bonds of friendship and kinship between our two countries," he said.


Image: Preity Zinta at the Federation of Indian Associations press conference in New York, with FIA chief Nirav Mehta
Photographs: Sanps India
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Indian Jews celebrated I-Day in Israel

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In Israel, Indian Ambassador Navtej Singh Sarna unfurled the tricolour at an event in Herzlia attended by some 400 Indians from across the Jewish state. The local Indian community organised cultural events and sang patriotic numbers. A dance group enthralled the audience by performing on the latest Bollywood hits, while Israeli dancer Yael Tal, trained in India, did a 'Kuchipudi' act.

On the occasion, the President of Central Organisation of Indian Jews, Noah Massil, said the Indian-Jewish community in Israel takes pride in its cultural roots. "We were never discriminated in India during 2000 years of stay in various part of the country. That is the reason that most of the people in Indian-Jewish community still not only identify with their roots but also maintain links that draw them to the country quite often," he said.


Image: Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo T Langford at India Day Parade.
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
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