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Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry

August 15th, 2008

Independence Day celebrations in UK

The 62nd Independence Day of India was celebrated with optimism, gaiety and immense hope for the future in London on August 15. Addressing a crowd of more than 500 Indian and British uests at his residence, High Commissioner Shiv Shankar Mukherjee unfurled the Tricolour, followed by the rendition of the national anthem.

Amidst a floral shower, representatives of the Indian Armed Forces saluted the national flag.

Soon after, artistes from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan rendered patriotic songs.

High Commissioner Mukherjee read out the address to the nation by the President of India, H.E. Smt. Pratibha Devisingh atil, on the eve of the 62nd Independence Day.

Following the reading of the President's Address, a reception was held for the guests, who represented a wide cross-section of society in the UK, in and out of government. Representatives of Indian media based in London, and mediapersons from the print and electronic media representing the NRI community also attended the event.

At the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, the Independence Day was celebrated on August 8 in the presence of a glittering array of uests which included High Commissioner Mukherjee, the Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham Cllr Andrew Johnson, and the world-famous musician Padma Vibhushan Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna. In his speech, Mukherjee thanked the Bhavan for being asked to be a patron. He was also delighted at having been able to share a platform with Dr. Balamurali who he described as "one of the greatest living exponents of Indian culture".

Mukherjee also commended the Bhavan for being an effective ambassador for India. He then spoke about the progress India had made since independence in 1947 when Nehru proclaimed that India was "making her tryst with destiny".

The High Commissioner then paid tributes to the nation's freedom fighters and founding fathers.

The 62nd Independence Day of India was also celebrated at the Consulate Generals of India in Birmingham and Edinburgh.

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