NEW DELHI India --
The Indian Diaspora leaders in Melbourne welcomed the newly
appointed High Commissioner to Australia, Navdeep Suri, at a gala dinner on 12
June 2015, write Swami Anand Kul Bhushan and S.K.Gupta.
During his address, Mr. Suri said ever since the visit of Prime Minister Modi to
Australia, he and his staff have been extremely busy in following up all the
different issues of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
In fact, the mission has been very busy ever since PM Modi took over; he
added giving the reason for not interaction more with the community.
The event was hosted by Mr. Vasan Srinivasan, Founder Chair - Confederation
of Indian Australian Associations Inc. and member of Australian Multicultural
Council who invited the Indian community leaders.
"After Prime Minister Modi’s visit, our relations with Australia have really
grown and we are struggling to cope with it.
"We have a large bilateral agenda." he said.
The bilateral relations have increased and intensified in many areas.
A major visit by the Indian Navy with the Chief of Eastern Command took place
recently, discussions are going on to hold a joint naval warship exercise in the
Bay of Bengal, a defence policy dialogue is coming up, talks on countering
terrorism in Sydney with experts from India are scheduled, a meeting of a Joint
Working Group on Resources and Minerals chaired by a federal cabinet minister
Ian Macfarlane is coming up, among other engagements such as an Australia
"Thus he and all his staff are hard pressed. In the last two rounds of the
Joint Free Trade Agreement, we have made progress and agreed on 1800 line
items," he added.
He said that he was happy that the first=generation Indians have done well
He explained the cases of UK and USA where second and third generation NRIs
built upon the platform created by the first generation.
The dinner started with a cultural programme of traditional Indian music and
Commenting on this performance, he said that after watching cultural
performances he is confident that future generations will be well connected to
He was drawing on his experience as an Indian envoy in Cairo, Damascus,
Washington, Dar es Salaam and London and as India’s Consul General in
A number of Australian leaders, including an Australian MP Mr Hong Lim spoke
about the cordial bilateral relations between the two countries enhanced by Mr.
Modi’s visit and multi-culturalism.
Indian community leaders were invited to present their views.
One of them, Dinesh Parikh, who migrated to Melbourne about 50 years ago, has
established a huge museum on India art and artefacts.
He spoke about his struggle and how set up the museum of his vast and
valuable collection to promote Indian heritage.
A second year student, Charan Naidoo, spoke of the disconnect between the
Indian and the Australian youth which needs attention by the Indian mission.
Mr. Suri was accompanied by his wife Mani who has a degree in economics and
is now an accomplished graphic designer and potter.