'Phototropy & Geotropy: The Entropy of Success' - Remarks by Ambassador Amit Narang at Indian School Sohar

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Welcome Reception at Indian School Sohar
23 April 2024

Remarks by Amb Amit Narang

At the outset, I would like to congratulate the Principal, school team and the talented performers for the mesmerizing cultural programme presented today.

Patron of the school Sheikh Anil Khimji,
Shri Rajubhai Ved,
President of the SMC, Mr. Abraham George,
Principal Sanchita ji,
SMC members,
Dear students,

It is a great pleasure for me to come back to Indian school, Sohar. My visit outside Muscat was to Indian School Sohar in November 2021 and I am happy to be back.

I really hadn't thought of anything specific to speak of today. But then, inspired by this excellent cultural performance, I thought I'll share a few words with you.

A few words on what is happening in India presently, then to briefly touch upon India-Oman relations. I would then like to conclude with a bit of biology.

Talking about India, we are currently witnessing a very important phase, not just in the history of our country but I would dare say human history.

I am talking about the General Elections in India, the largest democracy in the world. The largest democratic exercise in the world that is currently ongoing is unprecedented in numbers and significance.

We have no less than 970 million voters who will be exercising their franchise by choosing their representatives to the Parliament. Let that number sink in. This is more than 3 times the total population of United States.

Just imagine that over 5.5 million Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be used all over the country. Managing these EVMs will be a team of no less than 10 million officials.

Do you know that the largest Indian constituency is Ladakh. The size of this constituency is more than 150,000 square kilometres, which is roughly half the size of entire Oman. To give you another example, there is a constituency in Telangana called Malkajgiri. This one constituency has more than 3.5 million voters. One single constituency with more than the entire Omani population.

The reason for me to throw out these numbers is for you to understand, appreciate and take pride in what is going on in India today. The complexity and the the sheer size of this exercise and how well it is conducted, is something which fills us with great pride.

It is truly a magnificent human endeavour, if nothing else.

India our country is also making rapid strides. In just about 10 years we have moved from the being the 11th largest economy to the 5th largest economy. When you take into account the size and complexity of the country, our history, our unique socio-economic challenges, you realize that this is a phenomenal growth rate.

Once upon a time, much before your time, India was known as the land of snake charmers. Then in the 90s we became the land of mouse charmers.

Today, India is the land of Unicorns. We have more than 110 Unicorns today, start-ups with a billion dollar valuation.

We are adding about one Unicorn in our country every single week. To give you a comparison, in the entire MENA region, to the best of my knowledge there are 3.

Today we are teaching the world how to scale up digital transactions, financial inclusion, how to ensure last mile connectivity and connect the entire country.

I can give you several more matrixes, but you get the point. The incredible India of yesteryears is today the Inevitable India.

Dear Children,

Just a year ago, we celebrated 75 years of our Independence. We are still a very young nation, even though very we are a very old civilization. Our Prime Minister has given us something to do for the future. Some homework.

He has called the next 25 years the Amrit Kaal. In 25 years, India will be 100 years old. And as the young generation, you will take India to be destination of a developed country. That is the task that is on your shoulders as much as mine.

As you become the custodians of the Amrit Kaal of India in the next 25 years, it is up to you to harness a future built on solid education so that you can just not just build a prosperous India, but also as global citizens, contribute to the progress of the world.

Shifting gears, I wanted to quickly talk about the India-Oman relationship.

The Sultanate of Oman is one of our closest friends, a strategic partner. And a lot of good things are happening under the watchful supervision of the visionary leadership of Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik in Oman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India.

Last year was a very special year in our relationship.

We hosted the G20 summit. And as special gesture of friendship, we invited Sultanate of Oman as our Special Guest. The Omani delegations participated in more than 150 meetings spread across the whole year of India's presidency. 11 Omani ministers travelled to India and overall it was an excellent experience, not just in giving the Sultanate of Oman this platform, deepening our friendship, but also collectively contributing to the global good.

Another great landmark was the State visit of Sultan Haitham to India. We were very privileged to welcome him to New Delhi. This was the first state visit from the Sultanate of Oman to India in 26 years.

His Majesty was our honored guest and lot of forward looking decisions have taken which hopefully will put our relationship on the trajectory of future.

Finally, some biology.

When you put a seed inside the ground it grows, reaches high, develops into a plant and the a tree with flowers and fruits. This process is called phototropy. The seed is going towards the light.

But an equally important process takes place simultaneously, even before this growth towards light is possible. Just as it is coming up towards the light the seed also grows downwards. This is called geotropism, a growth towards gravity, which leads to the development of the roots, crucial for stability and nourishment.

In other words, phototropy inherently depends upon geotropy.

If a plant has to break ground, grow to a large tree, develop fruits and flowers; it is crucial that it grows down and develops strong roots.

Why I am bringing this up in your context is because all of us are also very similar in terms of our growth process.

You also have these two processes as you grow.

Your phototropy is the collective of your aspirations, your achievements, your awards, your successes, and your recognitions.

But that phototropy is impossible without your geotropy. Your geotropism is your hard work that lays the basis of what you can do in your life.

What we call ????? or ???????. The effort that you put in, whether in excelling in studies or in sports, or in arts. The extra push either late at night or early in the morning.

This is what finally makes the achievements - the phototropy - possible.

Always remember this. Keep in mind that ultimately how high you go, how many achievements you have, how many friends you have, how successful you are depends what you put in as your geotropy.

The amount of hard work, sincerity and goodwill that you put will finally determine your successes.

Strengthen your roots, fruits will follow.

Focus on your geotropy. Phototropy will follow.

Once again thank you for giving me this opportunity to interact with you.

You are the custodians of India’s future.

Make Bharat proud of you!

Jai Hind!