Dubai, Jan 27, 2020: India’s tricolour fluttered high in the UAE skies as the country’s missions marked the 71st Republic Day on Sunday morning.
A student parade at the Indian High School, Dubai
Indian Ambassador in the UAE Pavan Kapoor at the flag hoisting ceremony in Abu Dhabi
Consul general of India in Dubai Vipul at the Indian Consulate flag hoisting ceremony
Students perform at the Indian High School Republic Day celebrations
Indian community turned up in large numbers for the Republic Day celebrations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
A cultural show on the occasion of India’s Republic Day
The Indian community celebrated Republic Day in the UAE on Sunday
Hundreds of patriotic Indians of all ages attended the official celebrations to honour the day the constitution of the country came into effect on January 26, 1950 as the governing document of India.
UAE President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a message of congratulations to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on the occasion of his country’s Republic Day, WAM reported.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also dispatched similar messages to the Indian President on the occasion.
In Abu Dhabi, Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor hoisted the national flag in the premises of the Indian Embassy.
Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul unfurled the tricolour and hoisted the flag at the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
Waving the Indian flag and mostly wearing attires in its colours, expats sang their national anthem and shouted slogans praising their mother land after the flag hoisting ceremonies.
The heads of the missions also read out the Indian President’s address to the nation.
“Our Constitution gave us rights as citizens of a free democratic nation, but also placed on us the responsibility to always adhere to the central tenets of our democracy - justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. It becomes easier for us to follow these constitutional ideals, if we keep in mind the life and values of the Father of our Nation. By doing so, we will be adding a meaningful dimension to our celebrations of 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji,” President Ram Nath Kovind said in his speech.
The Consul General said: “Our partnership with the UAE is getting strengthened by the day. So I feel extra proud when I celebrate the Republic Day with all the Indians here in the UAE…We have to work for India and we have to work for India-UAE relations. I think Republic Day is a great day when we recommit ourselves to these tasks.”
Vipul and former Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardee Vasu Shroff honoured veteran expat Hemu Bhatia in appreciation of his community service.
Patriotic songs and cultural performances were also held as part of the celebrations.
Various events to mark the day were held in Indian schools, associations and workplaces as well.
Celebrations at IHS
A huge celebration was held at The Indian High School in Oud Metha, Dubai. Around 2,000 students participated in march-pasts, folk shows and other performances on school grounds, showcasing the cultural diversity of India and singing patriotic songs. Guests, teachers and parents were seated all around, cheering the performers and taking videos and pictures.
Republic Day celebrations and shows are a longstanding tradition at IHS, seeing a huge turnout of members of the Indian community in the UAE. The event is held in association with the Indian consulate in Dubai.
Speaking at the IHS event, Vipul said attending the IHS celebrations has always made him “feel great pride as an Indian attending your celebrations”.
“As a CBSE [Central Board of Secondary Education] school, our consulate has always extended our full support to the school and will continue to do so. We have followed closely the recent changes in the school,” Vipul said. IHS recently appointed a new CEO, Punit M.K. Vasu, among other developments.
Vipul welcomed guests, including officials from Dubai’s Community Development Authority (CDA), such as Dr Omar Al Muthanna, CEO - Licensing and Monitoring Sector, CDA. Also attending were IHS chairman Girish Jethwani and prominent Indian businessman Ram Buxani, among other guests.
Vipul also read out excerpts from Indian president Ram Nath Kovind’s Republic Day speech. Speaking to media after the performances, he said featuring the Expo 2020 Dubai as part of the show is in line with the “ethos of India [of welcoming diversity] as well as the focus of the UAE of bringing together the entire world by focusing on tolerance”.
He added that “we are all especially proud” of the number of Indians living in the UAE (over 3.3 million) and their contributions to both countries.
A blood donation campaign and cultural performances at different venues were also held as part of the celebrations held during the weekend.