76th Independence Day of India
Onboard Reception at INS Chennai
15th August 2022
Remarks by Ambassador Amit Narang
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me immense pride and happiness to welcome you on board INS Chennai on this auspicious evening to mark the special celebration of the 75th Anniversary of India's Independence.
At the outset, I wish to acknowledge the presence of Undersecretary for Diplomatic Affairs in Foreign Ministry and a friend of India, His Excellency Sheikh Khalifa Al Harthy, His Excellency Commodore Tariq bin Issa Al Raisi, Acting Commander of Royal Navy of Oman, and His Excellency Shri Pankaj Khimji, Advisor, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion. I also welcome other dintighuished dignitaries from Government as well as doyens of Indian community in Oman.
I also wish to thank Her Highness Sayyida Basma Al Said for graciously joining us this evening.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
To mark 75 years of India’s independence, Indian Navy has deployed one major naval platform to each one of the 6 continents – to raise the tricolor in a truly global fashion.
It is our proud honor that not one but two Indian naval ships are in Muscat, Oman, one of those exclusive 6 locations in the world. INS Chennai, which is our host tonight, and INS Kochi which you can see alongside, are two of India’s newest, indigenously built i.e. Made-in-India ships.
The deployment of two of Indian Navy’s ships in Muscat with Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet of the Indian Navy embarked, is testimony to the special and unique bonds of friendship between the two countries and the special place for Oman in India’s maritime and security outlook.
Mark Twain had described India as the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition.
Had he lived to see it, I am sure Mr. Twain would have been suitably impressed also with the 75-year journey of modern, independent India.
For Indians, all August 15s are important, as they mark a decisive break from the past, the unshackling of the Indian mind and spirit and giving of wings to Indian freedom and imagination.
Be that as it is, this year’s independence is extra special, marking as it does not just the beginning of a tryst with destiny, but a proud journey of 75 years.
A journey of nation-building, social reform, economic upliftment and cultural rejuvenation that fills the hearts of Indians worldwide with pride.
A journey which has transformed a poor, fledgling economy to the 5th largest and fastest growing major economy in the world, a leading food exporter, the global pharmacy, an Information Technology powerhouse, a leading base for scientific and space research and a pioneer in nextgen technologies and digital transformation.
It has also been an equally proud journey of social reform and inclusion and a democratic polity based on plurality, tolerance, freedom of thought and expression, equity and equality. Today, 1.4 billion Indians comprising all faiths and religions, not to mention hundreds of languages and even more customs live together in harmony, resolve their differences through debate and discussion and contribute to the rise of their nation. The one thing that unites them is the India in their hearts.
We are proud of these achievements.
We are also equally proud of the Indians that live and work abroad, often in difficult conditions. At over 18 million, India has the largest diaspora population in the world. The only attribute common to them is that they are all peace-loving, peaceful, law-abiding and contributing members of their respective societies.
This is true of Oman as well, where over 600,000 Indians live and work in harmony and contribute with the sweat of their brow and their managerial prowess to the Omani renaissance.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
There is an additional element of special significance for Indians this Independence Day. Just a few days ago, the first tribal woman President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu took office.
There cannot be a greater testimony to the ideals of social justice of the Indian Republic than the fact that we have today as our Commander in Chief a daughter of India hailing from a tribal community born in a remote part of eastern India.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
India’s journey of 75 years exemplifies peaceful development, an unshakeable commitment to democracy, dialogue, tolerance and pluralism, a relentless effort for social equity and equality, a pursuit of development with ecological sustainability, and a global outlook of humanism based on the ideal of treating the world as one family.
A model relevant, if not crucial, for a world beset with turmoil, political upheaval, social unrest and religious fanaticism.
We consider our relationship with Oman to be special. To call it a friendship would perhaps be an understatement, founded as it is on deep bonds of fraternity between our people.
Let me take this opportunity to convey, on behalf of all Indians living in Oman, our sincere greetings and good wishes to Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and the kind people of Oman for continued peace, prosperity and good health.
Once again, I extend my warmest greetings to all Indians and Friends of India in Oman on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of India's Independence.
Happy Independence Day!