UAE: Indian community in Dubai marks 75th Independence Day

Dubai - The programme was celebrated under a global campaign known as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.



by

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sun 15 Aug 2021, 11:56 AM

Last updated: Sun 15 Aug 2021, 4:55 PM

The Indian diaspora in the UAE celebrated their nation’s 75th Independence Day on Sunday (August 15).

The programme was celebrated under a global campaign known as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, which commemorated India’s 75th year of Independence.

Though an event of great significance for Indian diaspora across the world, the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been raging for two years in a row, played spoilt-sport to what would otherwise have been a much bigger and spectacular celebration.

On Sunday, the diplomatic mission in Dubai live-streamed the morning festivities from the Consulate General of India’s (CGI) premises.

A small group of community leaders, diplomats and staff from the mission gathered at the mission premises early in the morning for the customary flag-hoisting ceremony.

The CGI in Dubai, Dr Aman Puri, read excerpts from the President of India Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the nation.

During his address, the President spoke about India’s fight against Covid-19 such as the vaccination campaign, its achievements at the Tokyo Olympics, the Gaganyaan (space) mission, and climate change.

Dr Puri congratulated the Indian community in the UAE for their stellar role in assisting local authorities in Covid-19 relief operations.

Speaking to Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the event, Dr Puri said, “On the auspicious occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day, I'd like to extend my warmest greetings to all my Indian brothers and sisters living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates… all friends of India and the entire community.”

He added, “We began celebrating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ in March. The Embassy and the Consulate has been celebrating this occasion with a series of events starting with the Shahid Diwas (Martyrs’ Day) in March followed by a quiz and essay competition and several other events.”

Dr Puri said he is looking forward to India’s participation at the upcoming Expo 2020, which starts on October 1.

“India is one of the few countries participating to have a permanent legacy pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020. Very interestingly, this might just be the first Expo ever, in the 170 histories of the Expo, where Indian nationals are expected to be the single largest group of visitors.”

A video, which was released by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to celebrate the occasion, was played for the audience.

Malhar, an Indian Performing Arts Centre, put up a cultural show consisting of patriotic songs and traditional dances. An art-and-craft exhibition, which was launched in July, showcased the works of nine prominent Indian artists on the solemn occasion.

Community groups and corporates also organised various events to mark the occasion. Roop Sidhu, general secretary of the Indian Association in Ajman said, “As part of our Covid-19 vaccination campaign, we have helped the Ministry of Health and Prevention inoculate over 600,000 UAE residents on our premises. This achievement forms a very big part of our Independence Day celebrations. We also had a flag-hoisting ceremony and cultural performances.”

The Aditya Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company sponsored the screening of a play ‘Baat Karamat’, an observational comedy written and directed by award-winning theatre artist Mahua Krishnadev.

Vikas Gautam, CEO and head of international business, said, “This is a first-of-its-kind initiative by us. The play is based on Rajasthani folk stories and music and narrates the story of Teeda, a lazy village chap’s rise to fame.” The play was performed by local artists at the Junction, Al Serekal Avenue, Al Qouz.”

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com


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