Venkat Raman –
As India marks its 68th Republic Day or 67th Anniversary as a Sovereign Democratic Republic on January 26, 2017, Indians in India and people from India across the world will mark the day as an important event in the history of their motherland.
India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand Sanjiv Kohli will mark the occasion with a flag-hoisting ceremony at the Indian Community Hall of the Wellington Indian Association located at 48 Kempt Street, Kilbirnie, Wellington at 1030 pm. He will read out the Address to the Nation by India’s President Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, followed by patriotic songs rendered by the members of the community.
Later in the evening, Mr Kohli will host a reception for invited guests including ministers, Members of Parliament, diplomats and community leaders at the Performing Arts Centre, Sacred Hearts College in Lower Hutt.
Similar programmes will also be held at the premises of the Auckland Indian Association, 145 New North Road, Eden Terrace at 1030 am and other community organisations throughout the country.
While India obtained independence on August 15, 1947, it declared itself a Democratic Republic on January 26, 1950, de-linking the country from the British Crown. India also established its own rule under a democratically elected President.
Many Indians consider January 26 as the completion of the process of independence which began several years earlier under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and his associates.
More than six decades of political and economic independence, punctuated by periods of boom and gloom have helped the equilibrium of the India’s teeming millions and today there is a growing sense of optimism. With the economy performing well above the global average and with almost every industry on its progressive path, there is cause for celebration.
As Indians mark this occasion with gaiety in India and elsewhere in the world, multinationals and international investors continue to eye the country to make their own presence felt in the land of culture and talent.
The decision of the federal government in New Delhi to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes with effect from November 8, 2016 has had a telling effect on the economy and surprisingly well received by a majority Indians.
Despite the outcry of some media in India and elsewhere, there is widespread acceptance for the sudden move from a cross-section of the society. Some people were of the view that ordinary people were the worst-affected, but the resilience of the Indian people to adjust to the extraordinary should never be underestimated and demonetisation is one such drastic measure.
We are of the view that demonetisation of the two high-value currency notes would help to create a more stable and cleaner economy, accounting system and business practices and minimise the evils of corruption.
Republic Day 2017 could well be the beginning of another era of prosperity for India and Indians.
- India’s Republic Day Parade held in New Delhi on January 26 is one of the most colourful and impressive events in the world. Here is just one section of the All-Women Contingent of the Indian Defence Force marching past at the Red Fort in 2016.
- The Indian National Flag- Pride of more than a billion people