Indian expatriates lauded on Republic Day
Indian expatriates in South Africa have been lauded for the important role they have played in promoting the image of India.
Speaking at a flag-raising ceremony on the Republic Day in Johannesburg, Consul-General Suresh Goel called on the many Indians in South Africa to help build a better India.
"We call on you to do so not because of a narrow governmental interest," Goel said, "but because you and the country are not separate.
"Your performance and your roles in the country here build the image of India in as much as the happenings in India reflect on you and your image in other countries."
Goel said India today represents dignity, perseverance, technological excellence and the determination and courage to succeed in spite of adversity.
This determination and courage had manifested itself in "an exemplary fashion" in the way that India had dealt with the recent tsunami crisis.
Referring to the essence of the message by President Abdul Kalam, Goel said: "The nation is what you can make of it. The Govt cannot and do not function in isolation from their people. They look to you for support, for inspiration and most importantly for the direction in which the society and the country can move."