Amongst the various events hosted to marked India’s 71st Independence Day, it was Montreal’s India Day Unity parade which had Justin Trudeau make his inaugural appearance. This is the first time Trudeau registered his presence ever since he became Canada’s Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister turned up in a kurta-pyjama and won the hearts of the Indians attending the event. He went on address the gathering, give a speech and concluded it with a “Jai Hind”.
One of the major reasons for Trudeau’s appearance at this event was the route of this parade. The procession started at the Avenue Ogilvy and ended at Parc Howard which fell within Trudeau’s constituency of Papineau, the one he represents in the House of Commons.
He also tweeted, “Home in my riding of Papineau for Indian Independence Day celebrations! Long live the friendship between our two countries.”
Surinder Kumar, one of the founding members of the India Canada Organisation (ICO) which hosts the display was quite happy with Trudeau’s arrival. He said, “He’s not a stranger to us. But this was a great honour for us. People were crazy for him. It was a good show.”
The vice chairman of ICO, Rajesh Kapoor told the media that Trudeau spent approximately 90 minutes at the event, which is in its 15th year. He even mentioned how Trudeau has been a part of such events as a federal MP and as the leader of the Liberal Party. However, this year it was special as it was his first as a Prime Minister.
India’s High Commisioner Vikas Swarup marched alongside Justin Trudeau. “It was wonderful to have the Prime Minister of Canada participate in an India Day Parade, spend the good part of almost two hours with the community, speak in very positive terms about the contributions Indo-Canadians are making to Canada and end his speech with ‘Jai Hind’. And he seems to have a fabulous collection of Indian kurtas,” Swarup said.
Trudeau was swamped by the crowds at the parade and he obliged many of them by posing for selfies. He went on to highlight the Indo-Canada partnership and praising the achievements through his brief conversation with people at the parade. He added that it was “time to reflect” on the world’s two largest democracies, “one by population and one by surface area, and what we’ve learnt and what we do well”.
Information source: hindustantimes
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