• Monday, June 27, 2022

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Welsh first minister, Indian envoy attend India Independence Day events

(L-R) Royal Navy Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd, Indian High Commissioner to UK Gaitri Issar Kumar, Royal Navy Hon Captain Raj Aggarwal and Indian Commodore Anil Jaggi on board the INS Tabar in Cardiff on Sunday (15).

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIA’S 75th Independence Day witnessed events and celebrations held across Britain and some of them were marked by the participation of some high-profile guests. One such event was held at Cardiff Castle where Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford was present. Another was held onboard the Indian warship INS Tabar in Portsmouth harbour and the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Gaitri Issar Kumar, graced the occasion among other dignitaries. Drakeford expressed his gratitude for being invited at the programme and paid tribute to the Indian community’s contribution to life in the principality and said it pulled together to support the needy in times of the coronavirus pandemic.

Indian Honorary Consul to Wales Raj Aggarwal hosted the celebrations at Cardiff Castle on Sunday (15) and apart from Drakeford, Lord Mayor of Cardiff Rod McKerlich, Counsel General Mick Antoniw, assembly members from across parties and senior officers from the armed forces and police and community leaders were present. The venue was decorated with Indian colours and flags and saw around a hundred guests.

Indian Honorary Consul in Cardiff Raj Aggarwal (L) with Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford (R) at Cardiff Castle on Sunday (15).
Guests at Indian Independence Event at Cardiff Castle. Honorary Consul Raj Aggarwal and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford can be seen.

Aggarwal and McKerlich also delivered speeches at the ceremony.

Royal Navy Honorary Captain Raj Aggarwal at INS Tabar in Cardiff Harbour on Sunday (15).

“Indian Independence Day is celebrated all over the world with lots of love and pride, and we are glad that this year we can celebrate it with friends and colleagues again. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the community leaders for their massive contribution during this difficult Covid period and in particular the Ty Krishna Centre (ISKCON Wales) in Cardiff, who have served over 100,000 meals to the elderly, vulnerable and needy throughout this Covid pandemic, this has been an amazing achievement,” Aggarwal said on the occasion.

Royal Navy Honorary Captain Raj Aggarwal (L) and Commanding Officer of INS Tabar Captain Mahesh Mangipudi
at Portsmouth Port on Sunday (15).

Indian flag unfurled on INS Tabar

At the Portsmouth harbour, the Indian flag was unfurled on the Indian Navy frigate which arrived at England’s south coast on Thursday (12) to participate in a joint exercise with the British Navy. A special flag-hoisting ceremony was held on the vessel and the Indian high commissioner said, “The Indian Navy and Royal Navy share unique historical ties. They have been conducting the bilateral naval exercise Konkan every year since 2004.”

She added, “We have been looking forward to the goodwill visit of INS Tabar, a frontline frigate of the Indian Navy. Its joint exercises, along with HMS Westminster of the Royal Navy are aimed at enhancing interoperability, synergy and cooperation between both navies.”

The Independence Day celebrations on board the warship saw the presence of Indian navy officer Commodore Anil Jaggi, commanding officer of INS Tabar Captain Mahesh Mangipudi, fleet commander, Royal Navy, Vice Admiral Jeremy Kyd and also Aggarwal, who travelled to Portsmouth after the event at Cardiff Castle concluded. He was seen wearing his uniform as an honorary captain of the Royal Navy.

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