More than 700 people gathered on Saturday morning to gather at Dundas Square to celebrate 63rd Indian Independence Day with pride and pomp. The day started off with melodious patriotic songs where one could see old moving with the beat. Panorama India, now in its 11th year, had organized a spectacular India Day event that featured a Parade boasting nearly a dozen floats representing various states of India. The cultural program opened with Patriotic Songs. The parade which took over two hours to traverse the 2 km route was met with waving supporters throughout the route. Float participants were enthusiastic and danced on the floats and on the street as they marched along.
But of course, the highlight of the day was a short appearance of the famous Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, who is also Canada’s ambassador of tourism.
Just before the flag hoisting, ex-servicemen of Indian army were paid gratitude for their services to india.
After flag hoisting of tri-coloured Indian flag in the presence of Ontario Ministers Margaret Best, clad in embroided almond coloured shalwar kameez, Kathleen Wynne dressed in white kameez and pajama and Harinder Takhar, and MPs John McKay dressed in kurti and pants and MP Kristy Duncan who was wearing sky coloured pajama kameez, Indian Consul General in Toronto, Mrs. Preeti Saran, highlighted Commonwealth Games and the Year of India in Canada. Commonwealth games are to take place in New Delhi in October. Indian government has worked hard in building infrastructure that will accommodate its internationals guests and boast of diversity in Indian culture and traditions. Mrs. Preeti also spoke about the Year of India in Canada next year where throughout the year India’s cultures and traditions would be showcased for Canadians to see. She also thanked the Indian community to be “the shining example” of valuing the best of both cultures – Canada and India.
Mr. Ajit Khanna, the Co-Chair of Panorama India, urged the members of Indo-Canadian community to be more proactive and to get involved in the parade for the coming year.
Minister Harinder Takhar said that Ontario is a stronger province because of Indo Canadians’ contributions. MPP Best touted her links to India, saying “My maternal grandmother was from India.” And MPP Kathleen Wynne complimented Panorama India saying that it make Panorama Canada much more beautiful.
Conservative MP Bob Dechert (Mississauga – Erindale), whiling talking to Generation Next, said India is obviously a huge country but the beauty of India lies in its democratic values. He said that the values of Prime Minister Harper and the Conservative Party are relevant to Indo-Canadians who place high value to family, education and small and medium sized businesses. He also highlighted great and historic learning institutions of India. Talking about the role of youth, he said “Young people are people to embrace education, and the government has many policies to get higher education.”
Liberal MP Kristy Duncan (Etobicoke North) is excited by Commonwealth games and looking forward to visiting New Delhi in October. “People share the [Indian] poetry with me, it’s such an honour,” she said. With 5th diverse riding in Canada, she told Generation Next that “I get to travel the world in my riding.” “I’ve had a privilege to travel to India” to receive an award for her research in influenza, she told us.
More than 10,000 people saw the day’s festivities and enjoyed the variety of products at the stalls including tasty Indian snacks and meals.
Kala Pillarisetty, the Co-Chair of Panorama India, thanked the sponsors who supported Panorama, the performers, volunteers, and the media for their invaluable contribution towards the success of the event and the audience for attending the event.