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Currying political favour with money nauseates

Currying poltical- Ram Rai.jpgSeveral years ago, Indian Newslink published my letter, in which I had expressed my feeling about multiple Indian Independence Day celebrations hosted by various Indian groups in Auckland.

I had called for a ‘United Celebration,’ instead of spreading the events over several weekends in different parts of the city.

Nothing has changed since then.

The ‘divided approach,’ continues in marking almost all festivals and national occasions, including Republic Day, Independence Day and Diwali.

These events have become show of wealth by lobbying the politicians and attending one function and abandoning another.

At least two groups have emerged, which try to prove their respective strength, organising functions on the same day at the same time. Political and community leaders have no choice but to accept one invitation and decline the other.

A classic example of such division was the 60th Anniversary of India’s Republic Day celebration held by one group in this year on January 24, attended by the Prime Minister, Ministers, MPs and Mayors of Auckland and Manukau Cities at the ASB Theatre. This event was attended by just 200 people, whereas another function, held at the Telstra Clear Pacific Events Centre on the same day (almost at the same time) attracted more than 3000 people.

Is this the culture we wish to propagate among New Zealanders?

It was a very disappointing experience for me.

After I was elected to the post of the Regional Deputy Chair (Northern Region) of National Party, I have made it my mission to meet as many community leaders as possible and explain the need to stand and work united in the community.

Most of the organisations do great work and survive with the goodwill of the people and grants from various Government Departments.

Therefore, would it not be wise to put forward a united front and work with both major political parties?

I firmly believe that as individuals, we are free to have our own political ideologies, but as a community, we must get together and help all people succeed. It is important that people of Indian origin also be proud New Zealanders, and be treated with the respect they deserve.

People visiting places of worship pray and those attending celebrations socialise. They do not necessarily follow the leaders they meet at the time of voting.

They enjoy the company of the PM or the MPs because they represent all New Zealanders.

It is time political parties realised that the ethnic communities are not cash cows.

Email: ramrai1@xtra.co.nz

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