Indian Embassy celebrates 73rd Republic Day of India, Democracy’s accomplishments highlighted

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Ambassador of India to the United States, Taranjit Sandhu, hoisting the Indian flag at the India House in Washington D.C. Photo: Indian Embassy

The Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. celebrated India’s 73rd Republic Day observing Covid-protocols, by having an in-person and online broadcast of the event. Attended by community members and watched by others as it was webcast, the event highlighted the achievements of India in various fields including during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Today, India is better placed to face the increasing challenges and complexities that the world encounter. We have a massive vaccination drive against COVID-19 ongoing, administering more than 1.6 billion doses so far, and taking vaccines to the remotest corners of the country. The initiative of the government aimed at boosting jobs, consumer demand, manufacturing, infrastructure, agriculture and exports are accelerating economic recovery,” said Ambassador of India to the United States, Taranjit Sandhu, during the 73rd Republic Day of India celebrations, at the India House, Jan. 26, 2022.

He also noted that this was the year that the world’s largest democracy was celebrating its 75th Anniversary. To mark the 75th anniversary of Indian independence, the Government of India launched a special initiative, Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, last year. The official start of the initiative was March 12, 2021, a 75-week countdown, which will end Aug. 15, 2023.

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During his address, Sandhu underscored the India-US partnership as key and recalled Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi’s remarks at the bilateral summit with President Biden in September 2021.  At the summit, Modi focused on 5 “T”s to expand relations, and said, “we are witnessing a transformative period in the India-US strategic partnership driven by tradition, talent, technology, trade, and trusteeship.” Sandhu also highlighted initiatives of the Indian Government including Vaccine Maitri (vaccine friendship), and Clean Energy as announced by Modi at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last year.

Announcing names of three distinguished diaspora members, who were conferred the Padma Bhushan, Sandhu mentioned that this is a matter of pride for all, as well as a testament to the strength of the Indian-American community. The awardees include, Indian-American actress, Madhur Jaffrey for popularizing Indian cuisine, CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, and CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, for their leadership in the technology sector.

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind’s Republic Day address being played for the audience at the India House in Washington D.C. Photo: Indian Embassy

“It was my desire to host you all at the India house for the Republic Day. The varying nature and course of the pandemic requires that we continue to be cautious. Yet, I’m glad that technology has enabled us to meet today overcoming the disruptions of COVID-19,” he stated.

According to Sandhu, there is a greater investor confidence in the resilience of Indian economy since India has emerged as one of the largest tech startup bases worldwide, thereby reflecting the entrepreneurial and innovation spirit, particularly amongst the youth. He also highlighted India’s progress in sectors such as health, sanitation, affordable housing, rural electrification, women empowerment and financial inclusion.

A video recording of President of India, Ram Nath Kovind’s speech was played at the event. While delivering his speech, Kovind touched upon many important areas such as how the Indian constitution inspired people’s collective vision; how freedom fighters displayed incomparable courage during the independence struggle; the constituent assembly, the great minds that worked on it, and how Babasaheb Ambedkar’s final version became the founding document; Indian government’s relentless effort for reforming economic sector; attributing credit to agricultural and manufacturing sectors for impressive economic performance, etc

Ambassador of India to the United States, Taranjit Sandhu, delivering his speech at the India House in Washington D.C. Photo: Indian Embassy

As India is also celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose this year, the Embassy played videos of Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja, which inspired millions of Indians during the last phase of the freedom struggle, and Jayatu Jayatu Bharatam, written in 16 Indian languages to celebrate India’s diversity from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Both songs were rendered by students of Gandharva School of Music, North America.

Several U.S. lawmakers sent messages of goodwill, including Senator Bob Menandez, D-NJ, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Jim Risch, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Cornyn, Rep. Steve Chabot, co-chair of the House Caucus on India and Indian Americans, Congresswoman Nikema Williams, Congressman Jim Costa, and others.

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