In a first, I-Day celebrations held in Canada's hotbed of Khalistani radicals
The celebratory events in the British Columbia city were held amid growing concerns over the activities of Khalistan radicals.
The Consulate General of India in Vancouver held the country’s 76th Independence Day celebrations in the city of Surrey for the first time. Surrey, a city in British Columbia, is the hotbed of Khalistani separatists. Guru Nanak Sikh Gudwara and Dashmesh Darbar Gurdwara in Surrey are anti India and pro Khalistan. The celebratory events in the British Columbia city were held amid growing concerns over the activities of Khalistan radicals following the assassination of Ripudaman Malik, the man acquitted in the 1985 Air India bombing.
Surrey mayor Dough McCallum issued a proclamation declaring Aug 15, 2022 as “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav Day” in the city. The proclamation highlighted the strong bilateral relationship between India and British Columbia, which is home to over 400,000 people of Indian descent.
“[Like] the history of India's freedom movement, the journey of 75 years after independence is a reflection of the hard work, innovation, enterprise of ordinary Indians whether in the country or abroad,” the proclamation read.
Separate but similar proclamations were issued by mayors of Nanaimo, Burnaby, Victoria, and New Westminster.
The “Amrit Mahotsav Concert" at Michael J. Fox Theatre, Burnaby, was organized by the Consulate General of India in Vancouver in collaboration with Naad Arts Centre, Surrey. Kathak, Laavni, Gidha performance, Bhratnatyam dance and Indian Classical Fusion were the highlights of the concert.
The event was attended by over 600 people, including Raj Chouhan, Speaker, Legislative Assembly of BC, Randy Weakes, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan, Jinny Sims, Member of Legislative Assembly, Government of British Columbia, Councillor Sav Dhaliwal, City of Burnaby, along with a number of Member of Parliaments, Members of Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and City Councilors.
Addressing the event, Consul General Manish said in his welcome remarks that the Amrit Mahotsav concert, organized under “Jan Bhagidari“ (peoples participation) mode, was a celebration of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of India.