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?The century belongs to Indians?

india Updated: Nov 12, 2006 13:45 IST

INDIA IS changing, the people have more self-confidence and the century is theirs, opined Parliamentary Secretary to the Canadian Minister of External Affairs and a fourth term Member of Parliament representing Calgary-East seat and eminent Old Dalian Deepak Obhrai. He was speaking as the chief guest at the 124th annual prize distribution ceremony where he was also awarded the prestigious R N Zutshi medal on Saturday.

Obhrai, who is on an official visit heading a delegation to attend the second annual two-day conference on Afghanistan in New Delhi from November 18, said that India ranks very highly in the mind of the Canadian people and in the policies of the government.

Both countries being vibrant democracies are closely knit together on this key aspect and also share the British system as a legacy of colonial rule and a very similar kind of constitution.

Both countries view each other as partner states and engage in various levels of exchanges on the cultural, social and economic front.

He said that promoting free economic trade between both countries was his dream, which he wished to see realised. The countries have an extradition treaty and many other cooperative strategies in place.

India has a strong voice in that country coming from about one million South Asians of the total of nearly 32 million population and partly since Indians have strong representation in the legislature through India-Canada Association started in 2001 by Obhrai, who is also it’s current president.

Obhrai was awarded the R N Zutshi medal given to an Old Dalian for outstanding work in any field. Obhrai, who was born in Tanzania, attended school in three continents, worked as an Air Traffic Controller (ATC) in the UK and after moving to Canada in 1977 became heavily involved in community work, ultimately leading to his entry into active politics. He is also the president of the Hindu Society of Calgary and was vice-president of Indo-Canadian Council.

Principal Sumer Singh read out the achievements of the college. Obhrai awarded meritorious students from the field of academics, sports and cultural activities with the various prizes.

President Board of Governors Narendra Singh Jhabua delivered the presidential welcome address.