Melbourne: The rains did not play a spoilsport who turned up in hundreds to witness an emotional momet – raising of the Indian flag at Federation Sqaure which was followed by the Telstra Bollywood dance competition as part of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) celebrations. For filmmaker Karan Johar, who had the honour to hoist the flag, it was an exceptionally emotional moment.
This annual honour is given to one major Indian celebrity ahead of the Independence Day of India.”This has been an exceptionally emotional and proud momen for me. Coming here and hoisting our national flag made me feel all the love all of us have for our great country. We stand tall as proud Indians. India is about all of our beating hearts. It is about all of you. It’s not just a country but an emotion which stands tall with courage, conviction and resilience. India is not just a land on the global arena, it’s a force, a force to reckon with. Thank you for all the love to our cinema and country and to all the forces standing here,” he added.
Dressed in a traditional white suit, Johar said, “The IFFM has really been a force to reckon with. Over the past decade, it has garnered so much such love and appreciation. I have been to multiple festivals but this one has all the heart of you, the wonderful people of Melbourne who are such a fantastic and deeply loving audience . More power to inclusiveness,” KJo said about the fest where 20 years of his directorial debut “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” is also being celebrated.
He ended the speech by quoting GUlzar words from the film Raazi:
‘Ae watan.. aabaad rahe tu
Aabaad rahe tu… (aabaad rahe tu)
main jahaan rahoon jahaan mein
yaad rahe tu’
(O country, my country,
May you live long.
Wherever I am,
May you always be there in my memory)