Seven decades ago, on 26th January, 1950 our Constitution came into effect. We embarked our journey as a Republic affirming to the principles laid down in our Constitution. Since then, every year we celebrate our Republic Day on this day.
In accordance with this, the 71st Republic Day of India was celebrated with enthusiasm and joy in Indian diplomatic missions and schools around the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
In Riyadh, Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed hoisted the national flag at the Embassy premises, while in Jeddah at the Consulate premises, Consul General Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh hoisted the national flag.
The flag hoisting ceremonies were followed by the singing of the national anthem and reading of the President Ram NathKovind’s address to the nation. Extracts from the speech were read out to members of the Indian community, friends of India and officials of the mission, both in Riyadh and Jeddah.
Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed stressed in his message that Republic Day is of very special significance to every Indian living anywhere in the world. It was on this day the Constitution of India came into effect, which declared India as a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic.
He also stressed on India’s bilateral relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that have evolved progressively into a multi-faceted and mutually-beneficial strategic partnership.
The signing of the agreement to form the ‘Strategic Partnership Council’ between the two countries during the official visit of Prime Minister NarendraModi to the Kingdom in October 2019 marks a new era in the Indo-Saudi bilateral relations.
The top leadership of both countries is keen to strengthen and expand the entire gamut of bilateral relations spanning through diverse fields such as trade, investments & economic cooperation, infrastructure, security & defense cooperation, energy security, food security, healthcare, entertainment, civil aviation, tourism, and culture, besides people-to-people engagement.
On this occasion, the ambassador also thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and the Saudi government for their strong support in elevating the bilateral relations between our countries into a strategic partnership and for hosting a large Indian community in the Kingdom and ensuring their comfort and welfare.
Patriotic songs were also rendered during the event.
A mesmerizing ceremony was held within the premises of the Consulate General of India, Jeddah. A large number of Indian nationals including ladies and children, persons of Indian Origin, Saudi Nationals and people from media attended the function. The Consul general initiated his speech appraising the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and praising the excellent Haj arrangement, Sheikh said the government and the people of India are grateful to King Salman, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and Haj Minister Dr. Mohammed Saleh Benten for making excellent arrangements during Haj-2019.
The introduction of e-Visa facility for Saudi nationals has further streamlined the visa processing system providing a welcoming step to visit India, he said.
The Consul General praised Minister of Haj and Umrah Dr. Mohammad Saleh Bin Tahir Bentan and the innovative ideas of online digital Haj 2020 application and work of Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, members of the delegation, Jan-e-Alam, additional secretary (Haj) in the Ministry of Minority Affairs; Sheikh JinaNabi, acting chairman of Haj Committee of India; Satyendra Kumar Mishra, joint secretary in Ministry of Civil Aviation; Dr. Maqsood Ahmad Khan, CEO in Haj Committee of India; Nijamuddin, director (Haj) in Ministry of Minority Affairs.
He also thanked the complete Consulate for their dedication and efficient team work.
Reading out the President’s message, the Consul General stressed that ‘We the People’ are the prime movers of Republic. He discussed about the three organs of the modern State – Legislative, Executive and Judiciary.
He stressed on the key concepts of , ‘Purna Swaraj’, ‘Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan’,
‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’,’Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har GharYojana’,’Saubhagya’, ‘Pradhanmantri Kisan Samman Nidhi’, ‘Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan’, ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’, e-NAM scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, the expanding to the Ayushman Bharat, the Jan AushadhiYojana, and ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.
The Consul General highlighted that the ordinary people can make extraordinary contributions, giving examples. He added that with the advances in technology, the young minds of today are better informed and more confident. He said that for our youth, the nation always comes first and with them, we are witnessing the emergence of a New India.
“It should be part of our daily routine to introspect on Gandhiji’s message of truth and non-violence, which has become all the more necessary in our times”, he said.
He showed unreserved praise for our armed forces, paramilitary and internal security forces and all fellow countrymen and also for the resilient daughters contributing in many other spheres of activity who bring pride to our nation.
The President’s Address was concluded quoting the words of the chief architect of Constitution, Babasaheb Ambedkar: “If we wish to maintain democracy not merely in form, but also in fact, what must we do? The first thing in my judgment we must do is to hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives.”
The speech was followed by the singing of patriotic melody by the nightingales of International Indian School, Jeddah; which was followed by the cake cutting ceremony by the Consul General of India and his wife along with the members of the Consulate; distinguish guests, people of media, and the children present.