The After the terse and firm warning from the Premier Daniel Andrews, the celebrations of India’s Independence Day went without incident. The threats of “Besiege Indian Missions – the terror houses” by the Khalistani groups, fortunately did not make any disruptive impact.
The celebrations went extremely well with much fanfare and zeal where Dr Suhsil Kumar, the Indian Consul General in Melbourne was seen dancing with other local revelers without a worry in the world.
Such were the arrangements made for the grand occasion.
There were a lot more Sikhs actually celebrating the Independence Day of India with their Hindu, Indian brethren inside the Consulate than a group of small protesters (under 20) who were seen quietly protesting, carrying posters of the Indian diplomats.
There was a tiny moment, a flashpoint when the protesters voices were drowned out with the loud chanting “Gali Gali Mein Shor Hai, Khalistani Chor hai”.
But the security forces on duty kept the single agitated protester well away from the crowd and the consulate premises.
The day provided clear evidence of the resolve of the Andrews government, exhibited in the video message exclusive carried by Bharat Times that no violence of any sort would be tolerated in Victoria.
The local Indian community is so grateful for the unprecedented security arrangements provided, in view of the announced and publicly called demonstrations by Khalistan activists, where particularly vitriolic language had been used in the run-up to it.
The AFP cars were attendant on the premises to cover the potential trouble.
Demonstrators were allowed, but told to stay where they had been allowed, to keep control on the situation which could turn violent in no time.
The community will be best served if they are able to maintain the peace and harmony maintained in Victoria for decades.
The culmination of the program of celebrations of Independence Day of India planned for the occasion – the community dinner at the MCG provided the perfect icing on the cake.
It was organized at the Olympic Room, the Olympic Stand at the world-famous Melbourne Cricket Ground where the Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Hon Colin Brooks, Minister for Education Hon Natalie Hutchins, member for Point Cook, Hon Mathew Hilakari and the leader of the opposition Hon John Pesutto enjoyed the true Indian hospitality of the host – the Consul General of India in Melbourne, Dr Suhsil Kumar and his very hospitable and greeting colleagues from the Consulate.
There were speeches made, promoting and promising to take Victoria-India and Australia-India relations to the next level. There were also cultural items, classical dances to spice up the chit chat laden Indian nostalgia.
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