Indian envoy to UAE says non-residents are strong pillar in independence day celebrations

Fight for freedom remembered in gathering for landmark 75 year celebrations

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A festive, colourful atmosphere with residents waving saffron, white and green flags marked India’s 75th independence day celebrations in the UAE on Monday.

Hundreds of Indians gathered at the embassy in Abu Dhabi and the consulate in Dubai to take part in the festivities, which included vibrant dance performances.

Sunjay Sudhir, India’s ambassador to the UAE, described it as a landmark day in history.

On this date, 75 years ago, we broke free from the yoke of colonialism and centuries of exploitation by our colonisers and were born as a free nation
Sunjay Sudhir, India’s ambassador to the UAE

“We achieved independence exactly 75 years ago in 1947 when our tiranga, our tricolour national flag, replaced the Union Jack,” he said.

“While each independence day celebration is important, today’s celebration is something particularly special because it marks 75 years of our independence.

“On this date, 75 years ago, we broke free from the yoke of colonialism and centuries of exploitation by our colonisers and were born as a free nation.”

Mr Sudhir spoke of the country’s democratic foundations and diversity, where people of different faiths, languages and ethnicities coexist.

The ambassador also touched on the close ties between the leaders of the UAE and India and the contribution of Indians in the Emirates in building that strong relationship.

“The India-UAE relationship has emerged stronger than ever and as if ordained by destiny when India celebrated 75 years of independence, the UAE also celebrated the year of the 50th, the golden jubilee of the formation of the UAE,” he said.

He described the community in the UAE as “one of the most critical pillars of socio-economic strength and of UAE-India relations”.

“Their contributions even during the most difficult of times, such as during the Covid-19 pandemic, have been exemplary and will act as an inspiration to Indians all over the world,” Mr Sudhir said.

“Their contribution to the economy and development of the UAE is widely recognised not only by the leaders and government of the UAE, but also by Emiratis in general.

“Their sincerity in giving back to their motherland is a vital cog in the wheel of Indian national building.”

Indians gathered in the embassy and consulate auditoriums in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to sing the national anthem and other well-known patriotic songs.

Art exhibitions and quiz competitions have been held over the past few days as part of community celebrations.

Vivid illustrations and paintings on display showcased famous locations in India. Folk art conveyed themes of patriotism, coexistence and women’s empowerment.

“Being an NRI [non-resident Indian], we don’t get much time to celebrate our heritage and culture so we wait for one or two days in the year. These celebrations give us immense pride and joy,” said Devi Sree, an artist in Abu Dhabi.

“The live art, exhibitions and panel discussions all show our different perspectives. Artists are spreading messages of loyalty to the country, harmony and living with nature.

“When we create something for our country it gives us more joy.”

Updated: August 15, 2022, 2:38 PM