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Indian Ambassador Mehta (right), hoisting the Indian flag
Indians mark Republic Day ‘Tricolor’ hoisted at Embassy

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 26: Unfurling the Indian ‘Tricolor’ at the Indian mission in Kuwait on the 64th anniversary of India’s Republic Day, the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait His Excellency Satish C. Mehta extended his greetings and good wishes to the Indian community, Kuwaiti friends and well-wishers.
Addressing a large gathering at the embassy grounds the ambassador spoke about the significance of the day for every Indian all over the world because, it invokes sentiment of patriotism and zeal for being an Indian.

It was Jan 26, 1950 — the most important date in Indian history — because on this day the Indian Constitution was promulgated proclaiming India a sovereign, socialist, secular democratic republic securing all its citizens justice, liberty, equality and fraternity and integrity of the nation.

The President of India, in a message said India has changed more in last six decades than in six previous centuries. This is neither accidental nor providential; history shifts its pace when touched by vision. The great dream of raising a new India from the ashes of colonialism reached a historic denouement in 1947; more important, independence became a turning point for an equally dramatic narrative, nation-building.

The foundations were laid through our Constitution, adopted on Jan 26, 1950, which we celebrate each year as Republic Day. Its driving principle was a compact between state and citizen, a powerful public-private partnership nourished by justice, liberty and equality.

India did not win freedom from the British in order to deny freedom to Indians. The Constitution represented a second liberation, this time from the stranglehold of traditional inequity in gender, caste, community, along with other fetters that had chained us for too long.

The difficulties that accompanied the first quantum leap, the Hindu code bill, enacted in 1955 tell their own story. It needed the unflinching commitment of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Babasaheb Ambedkar to push through this remarkable legislation.

Jawaharlal Nehru would later describe this as perhaps the most important achievement of his life. The time has now come to ensure gender equality for every Indian woman. We can neither evade nor abandon this national commitment, for the price of neglect will be high. Vested interests do not surrender easily. The civil society and the government must work together to fulfill this national goal.

He thanked HH the Amir of Kuwait, HH the Crown Prince, the government and the people of Kuwait for bestowing their care and benevolence on the Indian community here and prayed for the health, prosperity and well-being of the Kuwaiti leadership and the friendly people.

Several Indian schools in Kuwait which took part in the ceremony rose to the occasion to make it memorable.

The Indian community schools sang patriotic songs Satyamev Jayate, Vande Mataram, Tum Chalo to Hindustan Chale and Hum Bangali, Hun Punjabi.

The Indian Community All Girls Brass Band, the Bohra Community Bugle Band and the schoolchildren entertained the large gathering.

For the first time there was float display depicting the Indian national bird - the peacock.

By: Paul Francis X. Fernandes Arab Times Staff

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