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Ambassador's speech on the 70th Independence Day

Posted on: April 20, 2016 | Back | Print

Good Evening, I wish to thank Indian Social Club for organizing this celebration to mark the 70th Independence Day and inviting me to speak before you. I want to convey my warm greetings to you on this auspicious day. Let us pay homage to our freedom fighters and thank our soldiers, and security and police personnel for their sacrifices in keeping our country secure and safe. Let us also recall the contributions made by our farmers, scientists, teachers, businessmen and leaders since our independence in building a progressive, democratic and secular India. As we start today the 70th year of our journey since independence, let us re-dedicate ourselves to preserving the unity and integrity of India as well as the idea of India. Let us commit ourselves to celebrate our diversity and show respect to other religions, cultures, values and customs.

Speaking earlier this morning from the ramparts of Red Fort, Honourable Prime Minister has called for building ek bharat, shreshtha bharat. He has underlined the importance of social unity, warning us that divisions in the name of caste, creed hurt the country. He has also called for a transition from Swaraj to Suraj, underlining the importance of providing responsible and good governance to the people. The onus is on us to achieve this goal. It is our collective responsibility to build the India of our dreams.

We can be truly proud of our achievements since independence. We are the largest thriving democracy of the world; our economy is the fastest growing major economy of the world and our exemplary achievements in the field of science and technology are well recognised. We are playing a leading role at the international fora like UN, G20, and BRICS in dealing with various global issues and shaping the global response to them. India's emergence as a global power has been welcomed. Recent foreign policy initiatives have enhanced our energy security, promoted food security and created international partnerships to take our flagship developmental programmes forward.

Yet there are huge challenges that India faces today primarily due to the social, cultural, economic and political transformations that it is going through simultaneously. We need to understand these challenges and deal with them with patience. Quite often we tend to focus on what is wrong with our political system, our society, and our economy. Instead, we, the citizens of India, must focus on what contributions we can and should make in dealing with the challenges that India is facing today. We have to be the instruments of change that we desire to bring about in India. Let us re-dedicate ourselves to do our best unconditionally and unflinchingly to achieve the goal of sustainable and inclusive development of India.

The Government of India appreciates the. contribution being made by the Indian community in Oman towards the development of India. Even though you are living and working in Oman, you are as much a part of Team India as those living in India.

And you have as much responsibility as they have to work towards the goal of building a modern India. You are invited to take part in various developmental initiatives of the Government of India like Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, Clean India, Namami Gange, building of 100 smart cities, and various infrastructure projects. Your investments are as much welcome and valuable as your professional skills and experiences. While foreign investors may be justified in worrying about the ease of doing business in India, NRI business community must take lead in investing in India. As we completed last month 25 years of economic reforms, I can say with confidence that the investment climate and ease of doing business in India is more conducive than ever and introduction of GST next year will make it even more attractive.

As you are aware, the Government is committed to promote the welfare of the Indian '" communities living abroad. It has taken a number of initiatives to reach out to Indian diaspora and strengthen their ties with India. The Embassy in Muscat is committed to provide the Indian community in Oman various passport and consular services in an efficient and timely manner. Also, we have been taking initiatives to reach out to the community including our workers and address their grievances related to their working and living conditions. We have made improvements in our systems and have made them more responsive. We have been organising open houses in other cities and visits to workers' camps. We have revived Indian business forum and I want to thank the Indian business community in Oman for your enthusiastic participation. We have allowed full use of the multi-purpose hall and the lawns of the Embassy for various events organised by the community.

Above all, we have kept the doors of the Embassy open to the community. You can visit us during working days and meet us, even without a prior appointment. I would like to request you to remain engaged with us through various means including telephone, email, SMS and social media like our websites, Facebook and twitter pages. Your feedback is very important for us. We are committed to respond to your messages and address, to the extent possible, the issues raised by you.

I want to thank the Indian community in Oman for the cooperation extended to the Embassy. Your cooperation has been exemplary and unconditional and I hope you will remain as indulgent towards me as you have been during my first year in Oman. I want to express my appreciation for the support provided by Indian Social Club Oman and its various branches and linguistic wings. Also our honourary consular agents, social workers and volunteers from within the community have also been making immense contribution in addressing various issues faced by our workers living in remote cities towns and villages. I thank you again for inviting me to join your celebration. Let us stay in touch and have a good evening.