NEW YORK, NY (TIP): The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations hosted the traditional Republic Day reception on Thursday, January 23, with President of the General Assembly John Ashe.

Permanent Representative Ambassador Asoke Mukerji, who was hosting his first Republic Day celebration, received with his wife Vanita Mukerji, over 100 guests, a mix of diplomats from the UN and Indian-American community. Ambassador Asoke Mukerji lovingly addressed Honorable President of the General Assembly John Ashe as the sonin- law of India and welcomed the couple warmly.

John Ashe who arrived with his Indian wife Anilla Cherian expressed his best wishes to all Indians for the upcoming Republic Day “I am extremely pleased to be here to celebrate India’s 65th year of being Republic. I am married to an Indian so I have fair idea about India. Every time I get big for my shoes, my wife reminds me that I come from a country which is probably the size of a village in India,” he added.

John W. Ashe comes from Antigua and Barbuda which has a population of 90,156 (July 2013). Mr. Mukerji stressed that on India’s 65th year at being a republic, cooperation is the key to making progress. “We all are participants in maintaining and developing modern international relations. This is the key to building a modern India. We must address all our issues with the agenda of development. We must rededicate ourselves in cooperating and collaborating with our international friends. Our issues can only be addressed if we all come together in a spirit of cooperation” said Mr. Mukerji. The Republic Day celebrations started with playing of the Indian national anthem.