75th Republic Day of India: Celebrating Unity Among Diversity

In a splendid display of cultural abundance, Her Excellency Mrs. Reenat Sandhu, Ambassador of the Republic of India to the Kingdom of the Netherlands graciously welcomed the large array of invitees to the reception, held on January 26th at Kasteel De Wittenburg in Wassenaar.
Among the distinguished guests were H.E. Prof. Jan Anthonie Bruijn, President of the Senate; H.E. Mr. Jan van Zanen, Mayor of The Hague, and many ambassadors, diplomatic colleagues, senior officials and members of the Dutch and Indian communities.

In her speech, the Ambassador stressed all India has achieved as a nation over the past 75 years but also “the essence of India and its vibrant spirit”. To quote: “Today, every corner of India is brimming with self-confidence, imbued with the spirit of a nation on the path of development and rapid transformation. We are the world’s 5th largest economy, inching steadily towards becoming the 3rd largest by 2030. We are making big strides in human-centric development, digital public services, and green growth. India’s talented youth are generating new ideas, innovation and technologies that are driving the Indian economy and global growth.”

Examples such as developing a Covid vaccine, landing a rover on the moon, and of course the successful G20 summit in New Delhi (which included the Netherlands as a guest country) “affirm India’s ability to shape the global agenda and influence its outcomes.” She added: “Representing a sixth of humanity, India knows that its actions matter …and is ready to assume greater responsibility. “

The Ambassador also touched on the thriving partnership with the Netherlands, in particular in the areas of water, agriculture & health, trade and investment, cultural and educational exchanges, and people-to-people ties.

Her Excellency concluded saying: “As India strides towards its vision of becoming a developed nation in the next 25 years, the Netherlands stands as a valuable partner in our quest for building a strong and self-reliant India, bringing together our mutual synergies for a prosperous future.”

The President of the Senate, Mr. Jan Anthonie Bruijn quoted His Majesty King Willem Alexander “India is proof that democracy and freedom are stronger and more durable than oppression. What India has built over the last 70 years is extremely precious and a unique achievement”. Mr Bruiijn said he was impressed by the close relations between India and the Netherlands on many levels.  He observed that not just economically, but also politically and culturally, the exchanges between India and the Netherlands are extensive and solid.

A mesmerizing light ceremony was held, featuring the lighting of a lamp creating a truly magical sphere which further enhanced the feeling of joint strength and connection.

Guests then delighted in an exquisite Indian buffet, offering a tantalizing array of flavours and delicacies: a true delight to the senses, and were charmed on departure to receive a large pink box, containing a hand-crafted gift supporting charity work in India.

What an unforgettable celebration, a wonderful start to the year.

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