Reception to celebrate India’s, TT’s milestones
By Anne Hilton Saturday, August 18 2012
In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s Independence and to celebrate the 65th Anniversary of the Independence of India, the Indian High Commissioner HE Malay Mishra and officials of the High Commission gave a reception and cultural presentation for invited guests in India House on Trinidad Crescent in Federation Park on Wednesday (August 15).
An unusual departure from most celebrations of National Days in Trinidad were the rows of chairs set out to seat guests while they watched the cultural presentation that was the highlight of the occasion.
An exhibition of Indian classical dance began the evening’s celebrations before the High Commissioner Mishra gave a speech in which he outlined India’s achievements in the past 65 years in agriculture, manufacturing and information technology. He said the celebrations would continue until August 31 with Indian cultural presentations in dance and by a very well known, distinguished seven-member Indian instrumental group led by Shri Ghulam Dastgir Khan brought to Trinidad especially for the golden anniversary celebrations. The group will be performing at various venues, ending with a concert on the anniversary date itself (August 31) in the Naparima Bowl.
Besides congratulating TT on the anniversary of Independence the High Commissioner also congratulated young Kershorn Walcott for his gold medal win at the London Olympics.
The High Commissioner next reminded his guests of India’s struggle for Independence beginning with Mahatma Gandhi’s March to the Sea in 1930.
He said TT had many things in common with India, pointing out that both are democratic Republics. Next, he quoted from the Indian President’s speech that ended with the words "Peace, peace, peace".
Replying to the High Commissioner’s speech, Foreign Minister Winston Dookeran said the great leaders of Indian Independence, Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Rubindranath Tagore were an inspiration to Trinidadians and Tobagonians in the lead up to Independence in 1962.
He said India and TT "shared common public values" and commitment to democracy and that as Foreign Minister he welcomed the support of the Government of India for small states having a greater voice on the international stage.
He made mention of a recent Memorandum of Understanding for student and faculty exchanges, for joint programmes in research and development in the petroleum sector and renewable and solar energy, pointing out that already in early July five officials from the Ministry of Energy went to the Solar Energy Centre in New Delhi for a three-week International Training programme on solar technology.
He reminded his listeners of the two-month long Science exhibition entitled "India: A Culture of Science" and, as his speech drew to a close, said he felt sure the instrumental music group tour of TT from August 14 - August 31 will "thrill local audiences with their performances".
In conclusion, he proposed a toast to the Government and people of India on their 65th anniversary of Independence.