PRIYA RAI | Thimphu
The Embassy of India in Bhutan celebrated their 74th Republic Day on 26 January this week at their India House Complex in Thimphu.
The ceremony was attended by members of embassy officials, diaspora members and friends of India. Ambassador Sudhakar Dalela led the Indian community in unfurling of the national flag at the India House, which was followed by singing of their National Anthem.
The Ambassador read out excerpts from the President’s address to the nation on the eve of the Republic Day. In his address to the nation, the President of India, Droupadi Murmu, stated that India has been transformed from a largely poor and illiterate nation into a confident nation marching on the world stage.
“This would not have been possible but for the collective wisdom of the Constitution-makers guiding our path,” the president’s message read.
She remarked that while Babasaheb Ambedkar and others gave a map and a moral framework, the task of walking that path remains our responsibility.
“We have largely remained true to their expectations and yet we realise that much remains to be done to realise Gandhiji’s ideal of ‘Sarvodaya’, the upliftment of all. Howevr, the progress we have made on all fronts is encouraging.”
“The same vision of empowerment guides the Government’s approach to the marginalised communities including the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.”
The Indian president’s statement stated that the aim is not only to remove hurdles and help them in development, but also to learn from them. “Tribal communities, in particular, have rich lessons to offer in many areas, ranging from protecting the environment to making the society more cohesive.”
She remarked that India’s Mars Mission was powered by a team of extraordinary women, and sisters and daughters are not far behind in other areas too.
“Women’s empowerment and gender equality are no longer mere slogans, as we have made great progress towards these ideals in recent years. With people’s participation in ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign, women’s representation has been rising in every sphere of activity.”
The president reiterated that during her visits to various states, educational institutions and while meeting delegations of various professionals, she was amazed by the confidence of young women.
“I have no doubt in my mind that they are the ones who will do most to shape tomorrow’s India. What miracles cannot be achieved if this half of the population is encouraged to contribute to nation-building to the best of their ability,” she said.
She further remarked that as a result of a series of initiatives in recent years to transform all aspects of governance and unleash creative energies of people, the world has started to look at India with a new sense of respect.
“Our interventions in various world forums have started making a positive difference. The respect that India has earned on the world stage has resulted in new opportunities as well as responsibilities,” she said.
She further added that India holds the presidency of the Group of 20 nations, and that India’s motto of universal brotherhood stand for peace and prosperity of all.
“Thus, the G20 presidency is an opportunity to promote democracy and multilateralism and the right forum for shaping a better world and a better future. Under India’s leadership, “I am sure, G20 will be able to further enhance its efforts to build a more equitable and sustainable world order.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering in a message on the occasion of the 74th Republic Day of India, remarked that it is a truly special day for our friends in India, as they celebrate the adoption of the Constitution which created the world’s largest democracy.
He said the day commemorates the sacrifices made by our friends and their forefathers who marched forward in unison into an independent and free India.
“The people of Bhutan and I send our best wishes and prayers to the people of India on the 74th Republic Day. As India charts a new path ahead, I offer my good wishes for India’s progress and prosperity,” Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said.
Lyonchhen added that as a close friend and partner, we rejoice in your celebrations. “May our special friendship continue to strengthen and deepen as we forge newer partnerships in the days ahead.”
Addressing the gathering, the Ambassador stated that India and Bhutan share exemplary ties of friendship and cooperation that are underpinned by utmost goodwill, mutual trust, and understanding at all levels.
He emphasized that India is committed to expanding its partnership with Bhutan into new areas of cooperation that align with the vision of His Majesty the King of Bhutan and the priorities of Royal Government of Bhutan.
The Ambassador also thanked the members of the Indian community for their contribution towards strengthening the ties of friendship with the people of Bhutan.
He further congratulated Prof Sanjeev Mehta of Royal Thimphu College who was conferred the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award at the PBD Convention held in Indore earlier this month.
The celebrations concluded with a melodious rendition of patriotic songs by an ensemble of Indian and Bhutanese musicians.
This event was a part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations to commemorate the historic milestone of 75 years of India’s independence.
To mark 2023 as the ‘International Year of Millets’, which was spearheaded by India at the United Nations, a variety of Indian millet products were also displayed.
Gyalpoi Zimpon Ugyen K . Namgyel , Cabinet Secretary Kezang Deki, Pema Choden, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, and Pema Tshomo, Officiating Chief of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade represented the government during the 74th Republic Day celebrations.
The Foreign Affairs and External Trade Minister Dr Tandi Dorji in a tweet greeted the people on the occasion of 74th Republic Day of India and wished the people of India great success, prosperity and happiness.
“A great honour to unfurl the Trianga at India House in Thimphu and celebrate the Republic Day with fellow citizens and friends of India,” tweeted the Indian Ambassador, Sudhakar Dalela.