India's 77th Independence Day was celebrated by members of the community with patriotic fervour on a grand scale Tuesday at the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) premises in Doha.
A large number of community members were at the venue in the early morning to witness new ambassador Vipul hoist the Indian national flag, amidst the rendering of the national anthem.
The envoy paid tribute to the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
Office bearers of Indian apex bodies, prominent community leaders and other dignitaries were present.
In his maiden public interaction with the Indian community in Qatar, the envoy read out the address of the president of India and emphasised on india’s diplomatic relations with Qatar, spanning over 50 years.
Indian President Droupadi Marmu, in her address to the nation, highlighted that the celebration of the Indian Independence Day is the fact of being part of a great democracy.
“Each of us has many identities – apart from caste, creed, language and region, we are also identified with our families and professions – but there is one identity that is above all,” she said. “That is our identity as citizens of India. Each one of us is an equal citizen; each one of us has an equal opportunity, equal rights and equal duties, in this land.”
“Independence Day is an occasion to reconnect with our history. It is also an occasion to assess our present and reflect about our way forward,” the president added. “Looking at the present, we see that India has not only regained its rightful place on the world stage, but it has also enhanced its standing in the international order.”
“During my visits and interactions with the members of the Indian diaspora, I have observed a new confidence in the India story,” she continued. “India is playing a crucial role in promoting developmental and humanitarian goals around the world.”
Ambassador Vipul expressed his happiness in joining the community to celebrate the special occasion.
He also noted that this year marks a milestone for bilateral relations, as it is the 50th year of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Qatar.
He said that bilateral ties between India and Qatar have come a long way in the past five decades, taking the shape of multifaceted relations spanning political, energy, economic, cultural, educational and people-to-people contacts.
He took the opportunity to thank His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, and the government of Qatar for the constant support to Indians living in Qatar.
The envoy also expressed his commitment to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of Indians in Qatar, and assuring that embassy’s doors will always be open for them all, more so for fellow Indian workers in need.
Following the envoy’s speech, community members presented cultural programmes such as patriotic songs and dances.
Ambassador Vipul hoisting the Indian tricolour. PICTURE: Thajudheen
Indian community members render patriotic songs. PICTURE: Thajudheen
Children perform a patriotic dance. PICTURE: Thajudheen
Another dance by the community members. PICTURE: Thajudheen
Indian ambassador Vipul paying tributes to the father of the nation. PICTURE: Thajudheen