Federation of South Indian Associations receives Charities status

India’s 76th Independence Celebrations on August 14 at Malaeola Community Centre

Venkat Raman
Auckland, August 11, 2022

The Federation of South Indian Associations New Zealand Inc received another impetus today (August 11, 2022) with the New Zealand government providing it with Charities status.

An Internal Affairs Department notification said, “The Federation of South Indian Associations New Zealand is now a Registered Charity.’

Federation President Dr Reginald Samuel (who is also President, Mana Andhra Telugu Association New Zealand (MATA NZ) said that the Executive Committee will structure its activities, projects and programmes in the light of its Charities status and move forward with the approval of its Members.

“Our immediate objective is to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence or the 76th Independence Day of our Mother India on Sunday, August 14, 2022. The event, which is open to all, will be held from 6.30 pm at Malaeola Community Centre located at 16 Waokauri Place in the South Auckland suburb of Mangere. I invite all the members of the five associations constituting our Federation, members of all other associations, Indian Newslink readers, and Radio Tarana listeners – everyone in fact who are friends of India to join us and mark this significant milestone in the history of one of the greatest countries of the world,” he said.

Dr Samuel said that leaders across the political, commercial and community spectrums will attend the Celebrations, joining in the members’ efforts to pay homage to the freedom fighters and the people of the world’s largest and most successful democracy.

Vice-President Vai Ravindran (who is President of Auckland Tamil Association), said that the Federation will follow the guidelines prescribed for Charities and work towards the achievement of its goals and objectives.

The exterior view of the Malaeola Community Centre in Mangere, South Auckland (Website Photo)

Equitable Representation

“Our Federation is represented by five associations that represent the five States of South India, namely Andhra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. These States are represented respectively by Mana Andhra Telugu Association (MATA) New Zealand, Telangana Association of New Zealand (TANZ), Auckland Tamil Association, Auckland Malayali Samajam and New Zealand Kannada Koota (NZKK). Each of these Associations is a registered and therefore a legal entity,” General Secretary Narendra Patlola (President, TANZ) said.

Joint Secretary Soby Bernard Thomas (President, Auckland Malayali Samajam) and Treasurer Vishu Lokpal (President New Zealand Kannada Koota) are also enthusiastic and optimistic about the Federation in serving New Zealanders in general and in particular their communities.

The first team at the Federation of South Indian Associations New Zealand (from left) Soby Bernard Thomas, Vai Ravindran, Dr Reginald Samuel, Narender Reddy Patlola, Vishu Lokpal

MATA, TANZ and NZKK are the only Auckland-based associations registered with the New Zealand government, representing the States of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. While the New Zealand Kannada Koota is the oldest South Indian Association (established 28 years ago) and perhaps the only Association (other than the Auckland Indian and New Zealand Indian Central Associations) to have had the Governor-General as its Chief Guest at an event (Ugadi, April 28, 2007), the 23-year-old Auckland Malayali Samajam has hosted Prime Minister Helen Clark at its festivities, including Onam, its biggest annual event at Malaeola Community Centre on August 20, 2005.

MATA NZ is the youngest organisation in the Federation, established in November 2020.

TANZ is an active organisation bringing together people from the State of Telangana (the State was formed in 2014 and the Association a year later) with social and community welfare activities and cultural programmes. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern participated in the Bathukamma Festival organised by TANZ on October 12, 2018.

About India Independence Day

India’s struggle for freedom was punctuated by the selfless sacrifice of not only fearless leaders but also ordinary people who gave up their time, family, income and personal comfort. The people of India demonstrated their faith in Dharma, followed the principle of social justice, individual discipline and collective effort and dedicated themselves to the cause of the Nation. Nowhere in the world was political freedom obtained through the path of non-violence, following such novel methods of protest as Satyagraha (non-violent resistance), peaceful civil disobedience and hunger strike. These methods were effective, proving that an objective as serious as political freedom can be obtained through non-violent means.

Modern India welcomes the world: Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai (cdn.zeenews.com)

India’s economic and social progress since independence at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, is a remarkable story inscribed with proper planning and brilliant implementation. Notwithstanding constant skirmishes and incursions from unfriendly neighbours, India has maintained its democratic ideals. As well as its hard-working resident population, remittances from its growing international diaspora and overseas investments have helped the country’s economy register creditable progress.

Since taking office as Prime Minister on May 26, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led India to greater heights of progress. His business-friendly policies and exemplary international relations have helped India experience impressive growth. The strength of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has promoted political stability in many States and regions and aided by teams of able Ministers and bureaucrats, the country is on its way to becoming a US$ 5 trillion and the fastest growing economy in the world.

Despite serious setbacks of the Covid-19 pandemic, business confidence remains high, and economists expect robust growth in the ensuing years. Credit-rating agencies continue their encouraging economic outlook and India can expect to remain an attractive destination for investment and a good source of human capital.

Relations with New Zealand

While India has excellent bilateral ties with almost all countries of the developed world, relations with New Zealand remain somewhat strained and efforts invested in recent years have not yielded tangible results. Two-way trade is static and despite the usual rhetoric, there has been little or no progress in any of the fields which offer the potential for growth. It is up to the New Zealand government to reboot the relationship and look for mutual gains.

Diplomacy both in New Delhi and Wellington has not achieved much. It is perhaps time from a people-to-people and business-to-business relationship that will trigger some positive action. 

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