Bali’s Indian community celebrates Republic Day

Over 120 members of the Indian community in Bali gathered in a solemn and intimate atmosphere at the Consulate General of India in Denpasar on Sunday to celebrate India’s 65th Republic Day. They began with a flag hoisting ceremony, followed by the singing of the Indian national anthem, “Jana Gana Mana”, written by poet, painter and scholar, Rabindranath Tagore. The participants at the ceremony included teachers and students from two international schools, Gandhi Memorial International School (GMIS) and Taman Rama International School.

The students and teachers from GMIS also sang an enduring patriotic poem, “Sare Jahan se Accha Hindustan Hamara”, written by Mohammad Iqbal. The consul general read out the message delivered by the India’s president, Pranab Mukherjee. The president highlighted that the adoption of the constitution 64 years ago had helped develop India into a beautiful and vibrant democracy. The president stated that India was not just a geographic location, but also a history of ideas, philosophy, intellect, industrial genius, craft, innovation and an experience.

He called for an education revolution for national resurgence and the engagement of youth for the nation’s prosperity. India had the intellectual power, the human resources and financial capital to shape a glorious future, along with a dynamic civil society with an innovative mind-set, he said. India’s citizens shared a vibrant, unique consciousness and culture and were its finest assets. He quoted great sage Rabindranath Tagore, stating that the human mind flourished best when it was free from fear, had the liberty to roam into spheres unknown, in search of wisdom, and when the people had the fundamental right to propose, as well as oppose.

The event closed with lunch, where members of the Indian community and other participants relished the Indian cuisine served to all the guests. “Today I am very happy because the small Indian community here has come to the consulate to celebrate Republic Day, including our friends in the Balinese community. This is the day when we adopted and implemented the constitution and India became a republic,” Consul General of India AS Takhi told journalists. On the occasion, Takhi reiterated the commitment to strengthen the relationship between India and Indonesia, especially Bali.

This year, he said, was very important as the two countries, India and Indonesia, were going to hold general elections. “In India, we have our election in about May. And you [Indonesia] have your election in April and around July for the presidential election. Now in India, since our independence, we have been a democratic country,” Takhi said. As the two countries both had high populations and high economic growth, Takhi said that the entire world was watching India and Indonesia. “We have been doing excellently during the last decade.

But in the last couple of years, because of uncertain economic conditions in the world, both our economic progress has slightly reduced. But there is no reason to worry,” Takhi said, adding that he was optimistic the economic conditions in both countries would improve soon. “India is better now. And Indonesia has a lot of potential to grow at a very healthy rate, and I’m sure it will rebound very soon,” Takhi stated. He added that India was also eager to strengthen the friendship between India and the Indonesian people, especially the youth.

“We also have a young population, about 600 million in India, and about 125 million in Indonesia. So the younger generation has to connect, share their ideas and work together. “That is why, since our inception in January 2012 [in Bali], we have been holding events, trying to make friendships, of course with all the Balinese community, as well as with the younger generation in Bali particularly, because we have a base here,” Takhi said. The consul general also reiterated that fully funded scholarships were made available by the consulate to all Indonesian students to pursue higher education in India. Scholarship applications for the next academic year were still being accepted for study in Indian universities until Feb. 7.

source : bali daily

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