The Indian Australian community of Victoria got another reason to feel at home today as Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled India’s father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at the Australian Indian Community Centre in Melbourne.
On a typical Melbourne afternoon, Sky opened its heart with light showers as PM Morrison pulled off the covers with his Minister for Education Alan Tudge and Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs Jason Wood.
PM Scott Morrison said, There is just an easiness, a natural connection between Indian culture and this wonderful land. And it just sits very comfortably and it comes so naturally. Between Australia and India, we do share very important beliefs and values in democracy and liberal democracy, in believing in the individual, their enterprise and their freedom, in particular.”
“And to unveil a statue in honour of Mahatma Gandhi is a very important opportunity for us to reflect on that particular element of the relationship.”
Prime Minister Morrison was very appreciative of the Indian government’s gesture of donating the Gandhi statue.
“Consul General, can I thank you very much. Can I particularly thank you very much for the very kind and generous donation of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi? Thank you very much, thank you,”said Mr Morrison
Council General of India in Melbourne Rajkumar was all smiling to see months of coordination to become a permanent pilgrimage site for Indian Australians.
Council General Rajkumar thanked the Morrison government for helping the Indian Australian community to build an Australian Indian Community Centre and called the Mahatma Gandhi statue as a stepping stone for a greater relationship between the two countries.
PM Morrison fondly remembered his ‘good friend’ Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
“There are only two people missing from today’s event. One is Jenny and the other one is Narendra. And perhaps we’ll be able to remedy that next year sometime.”
Chairperson & Founding Trustee of Australia Indian Community Charitable Trust, Vasan Srinivasan requested Prime Minister Scott Morrison to look into the diverse needs of the growing Indian Diaspora in Victoria.
Mr Vasan explained Christmas wish lists for the community as there is no place for Indian-origin artists and other cultural groups to call home.
Which PM Morrison happily obliged to consider.