HIGH COMMISSIONER of India to TT Arun Kumar Sahu on Tuesday commemorated India’s 72nd Republic Day at his residence in St Clair.
Republic Day, a national holiday in India, celebrates the Constitution coming into effect in 1950. The Constitution replaced the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India, making it a republic.
Sahu hosted a cultural show and served an authentic Indian breakfast after hoisting the flag.
There were a series of cultural performances from vocal teacher at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Co-operation (MGICC) Pritosh Kumar Sinha, tabla teacher Arshad Khan, keyboardist Adesh Sahadeo and Amit Dookeran on the octopod, as well as with local chutney singer Savita Singh.
The commissioner then relayed a Republic Day address on behalf of India’s President Ram Nath Kovind, in which he praised the country for its contribution to global challenges, such as its rise in the pharmaceutical industry, making it widely known as the world’s pharmacy.
In his message, Kovind said, “Today, India is being rightly called ‘pharmacy of the world’ as we are supplying medicines and other healthcare items to several countries to alleviate people’s suffering and contain the (covid19) pandemic across the globe. Now we also provides vaccines to other countries.
“India is moving forward and taking its rightful place in the world. During the recent years, its arc of influence has been expanding and encompassing the larger part of the world. The manner in which India got overwhelming support of the international community for its entry as a non-permanent member in the (UN) Security Council this year is indicative of that influence.
“The quality of our engagement with leaders across the world has enhanced manifold. India with its vibrant democracy has rightfully earned its respect as a responsible and trustworthy nation.”
With a large Indian diaspora in TT naturally came a number of co-operative ventures between both countries. A cultural agreement between India and TT was signed in 1987.
Last October, on the 151st anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth, the High Commission of India unveiled Gandhi’s bust at the newly built MGICC in Mt Hope.
In 1998, the Indian Culture Centre opened in Caroni, a year before the foundation stone of the building was laid by former prime minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee and then TT prime minister Basdeo Panday.
The commissioner has invited guests to two exhibitions at MGICC, Mt Hope, including a photography exhibition on the life and philosophy of Gandhi and an exhibition on Madhubani art. They are free to the public and run until Saturday, from 10 am-5 pm each day.