Indians abroad celebrate 73rd Republic Day; greetings pour in from leaders across the world
Beijing/London: Indians across the globe on Wednesday celebrated the 73rd Republic Day amid COVID-19 restrictions, as several world leaders, including British, Australian and Bangladeshi Prime Ministers extended their greetings on the occasion, highlighting their strong friendship with India.
Charge d’affaires of the Indian Embassy in Beijing Dr. Acquino Vimal hoisted the tricolour at the embassy premises and read President Ram Nath Kovind’s address which was followed by cultural events. The ceremony was restricted to only officials of the embassy in view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the Chinese capital.
This is the third time the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Republic Day celebrations in Beijing. It was cancelled in 2020 due to a lockdown announced by China after the coronavirus broke out in Wuhan. In 2021, it was restricted to staff and their families in view of the prevailing COVID-19 infections.
In Singapore, the Indian High Commission virtually celebrated the Republic Day. Acting High Commissioner Siddhartha Nath read the president’s message to the Indian community through social media. Performance of students from Indian schools in Singapore was also shared through social media.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson extended greetings to the people of India, saying he is proud of the friendship shared by the two “diverse democracies” and looked forward to fortifying the strong bond over the next 75 years and beyond. He focussed his Republic Day message on the launch of free trade agreement (FTA) talks and the India-UK vaccine partnership.
Anglo-Swedish biopharma major AstraZeneca is in a manufacturing tie-up with Serum Institute India (SII) for the production of Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine, known in India as Covishield.
In his message on Twitter, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison extended his greetings, also in Hindi, to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
“Australia and India enjoy a wonderful friendship. While we celebrate #AustraliaDay today, I also extend my very best wishes to my good friend @narendramodi and all Indians on #RepublicDayIndia,” Morrison tweeted.
Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, in his message to Modi, expressed confidence that the bilateral relations would continue to grow stronger.
Deuba commended India’s remarkable achievements in socio-economic development and impressive advancement in technologies and innovation, according to a statement issued by Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In a separate message, President Bidya Devi Bhandari extended her greetings to President Kovind.
President Bhandari has extended “best wishes for good health and happiness of the President of India as well as for the continued progress and prosperity of the people of India,” according to the statement.
Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra felicitated war widows and next of kins of deceased Gorkha soldiers by disbursing their dues of NRs. 6.35 crore and blankets.
“As per the ‘AzadiKa Amrit Mahotsav’, an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate 75 years of India’s independence many events will be held throughout the year and until August 2023,” the Indian mission in Kathmandu said in a press release.
To mark the milestone, the embassy is planning to inaugurate 75 development projects implemented with India’s assistance across the country this year, it said.
The embassy will gift 75 ambulances and school buses to various organisations and local authorities across Nepal, it added.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Dhaka is keen to work with India towards realising the shared vision of building a peaceful and prosperous region as she extended greetings to her Indian counterpart and the people of India on the Republic Day.
Hasina said the unique ties of close friendship, cooperation and trust between the two countries have flourished and grown from strength to strength in recent years.
“We look forward to working with India in the next fifty years and beyond, towards realising the shared vision of building a peaceful and prosperous region,” she said.
The High Commission of India in Dhaka celebrated the Republic Day at Chancery premises with Indians living in the Bangladeshi capital. High Commissioner Shri Vikram K Dioraiswami unfurled the national flag and read out the President’s address to the Nation at a ceremony following Covid-19 protocols.
In his greetings, Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said, “as the two nations stood firm and resolute in extending profound friendships through the contours of time, I have no doubt that we will continue to write many more stories of success and happiness together.”
“On this Republic Day of India, the people of Bhutan and I send our best wishes to the people of India. While you witness the majestic parades in celebration today, please know that the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan rejoice with you in heart and spirit,” he said in his message on Twitter.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a Twitter message, wished Prime Minister Modi, the government and the people of India.
“Wishing PM @narendramodi, the Government and People of #India a very happy 73rd Republic Day. May the relationship between our two nations continue to grow to mutually benefit our people so that our nations may prosper,” Rajapaksa wrote.
In Islamabad, Suresh Kumar, Chargé d’Affaires, hoisted the tricolour at the High Commission and read the President’s message. Flag hoisting was followed by cultural programmes by Indian officials and their family members.
In Washington, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the partnership between India and the United States is rooted in their shared responsibility to uphold democratic values.
“We join India, the world’s largest democracy, in honouring Republic Day, the day that marks the adoption of India’s Constitution,” she told reporters at her daily news conference on Tuesday.
In a tweet, the US State Department’s South and Central Asia Bureau said: “Happy 73rd Republic Day India! As millions of Indians celebrate their vibrant Constitution today, we are reminded of our nations’ shared democratic values and the strength of the US-India strategic partnership.”
A friendly cricket match was played between India and Australia High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa as part of the celebrations.
The High Commission to Brunei celebrated the day at the Chancery premises. Despite heavy torrential rains, more than 100 members of the Indian diaspora and friends of India attended the function.
In New Zealand, High Commissioner Muktesh Pardeshi launched a handbook titled Exporting to New Zealand. The report has been prepared jointly by the High Commission to New Zealand and Duco Consultancy.
On the eve of the 73rd Republic Day, the majestic Baths of Diocletian, dating back to the IV century in Rome, was illuminated with tricolour lighting. Chancery and India House were also illuminated and looked resplendent in tricolour at Atlanta.
In South Korea, the Korean traditional musical instrument Gayageum performance was held by Gimhae City Gayageum Orchestra on the occasion.