The Indian community residing in Gaborone were a sight for sore eyes as they donned their colourful and sparkly regalia with equally exquisite jewellery when they converged at the Indian High Commissioner Madhava Chandra’s residence to celebrate their 63rd Independence Day.
Presenting the nation’s address to the community on behalf of the President of India, Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Chandra stated that, “We are living in a world that is complex and challenging. Forces of globalisation have created and interlinked and interdependent world.”
He further alluded to the fact that all countries are interlaced and that in India they were looking at “Building our country as one whose economy demonstrates robustness to grow, so that we can become a developed nation.”
It was, however, also acknowledged that it was not going to be an easy task.
“There is tremendous work that needs to be done to move forward on our social and economic agenda if we are to achieve fast, inclusive and sustainable growth,” said Chandra, highlighting that education, poverty and disease eradication, women empowerment and a good democratic system were imperative for the achievement of all economic growth to a developed country.
History tells us that Alexandra the Great was the first European to set foot in India, followed by Vasco Da Gama in 1498 and then Christopher Columbus. Despite all the prior discoveries, India was, however, controlled by Muslims who were a minority compared to the Hindus until India became a British colony in 1857. The British Indian territories gained independence in 1947, after being partitioned into the Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan.
The event kicked off with the official raising of the Indian National flag by The High Commissioner assisted by some members of the armed forces. After the President’s address, guests were treated to a series of traditional songs, poetry and some Indian cuisine.