/ 1 February 2024

Indian Commission celebrates Republic Day

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Indian High Commissioner to South Africa, HE Shri Prabhat Kumar, celebrates Republic Day with fellow countrymen and women.

It is 75 years since India became its own democracy, free from foreign control

The High Commision of India in Pretoria celebrated the 75th Republic Day on 26 January 2024 at the Residence of the High Commissioner, HE Shri Prabhat Kumar.

The raising of the national flag was accompanied by the singing of the national anthem of India, Jana Gana Mana. This was followed by Kumar reading the message to guests and fellow citizens of India from the Hon’ble President Smt. Droupadi Murmu.  

The 75th year of the Republic is a milestone in the journey of the nation. The commencement of the Constitution is celebrated with the preamble, beginning with the words: “We, the people of India”, highlighting the theme of the document, namely democracy. In India the democratic system is older than the concept of Western democracy, and for this reason India is called the Mother of Democracy. 

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On 15 August 1947 India became free from foreign control. It took nearly three years for the government of India to formalise the Constitution that is used today. The citizens of the country are called on to abide by the fundamental duties enshrined in the Constitution, as these duties  are essential obligations of every citizen towards making a developed nation when it completes a 100 years of Independence.

In the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “No people have risen who thought only of rights. Only those who did so thought of duties.” 

Republic Day is an occasion to reflect on fundamental values and principles, and when contemplating one of them, a person is naturally guided to the rest. 

Democracy implies diversity of culture, beliefs and practice. Celebrating diversity implies equality, which is upheld by justice. Freedom is what makes it all possible.

The speech remarked on the G20 summit and its success; it also boosted India’s emergence as the voice of the Global South, adding a necessary element to the international discourse.

Gender equality has been given more attention with Parliament passing the historic women’s reservation bill, whereby one-third of seats are set aside for women in the lower house of Parliament,  the Delhi Legislative Assembly and the state legislative assemblies across the country. This will be a valuable tool for women’s empowerment, and it will also assist in improving the processes of governance when more women will be involved in matters of collective importance. 

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2023 was the year that India first went to the moon; it was the first country to land near the south pole with its Chandrayaan-3 lander on 23 August 2023. India’s space programme is aimed at expanding and deepening the role of science and technology for the benefit of humanity.

India’s future is shaped by the minds of the teachers, who are the real architects of India’s future.

India salutes the members of its armed forces.

The South African Indian Commission is at https://www.hcipretoria.gov.in/