The High Commission of India in Pretoria celebrated the 75th Republic Day on the 26th of January 2024 at the Residence of the High Commissioner, H.E. Mr. Shri Prabhat Kumar.

The raising of the National flag took place with the singing of the National anthem of India – Jana Gana Mana. This was followed by H.E. Mr. Kumar reading the message to guests and fellow citizens of India from the Hon’ble President Smt. Droupadi Murmu.

The 75th year of the Republic is a milestone in the journey of the nation. The commencement of the constitution is celebrated with the preamble beginning with the words, “We, the people of India,” highlighting the theme of the document, namely democracy. In India, the democratic system is older than the concept of Western democracy, the reason India is called the Mother of Democracy.

On 15th August 1947, India became free from foreign control. It took nearly three years for the government of India to formalize the Constitution that is used today. The citizens of the country are called upon to abide by the fundamental duties enshrined in the constitution, as these duties are essential obligations of every citizen towards making a developed nation when it completes 100 years of Independence.

In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “No people have risen who thought only of rights. Only those who did so thought of duties.”

Republic Day is an occasion to reflect on fundamental values and principles. When contemplating one of them, a person is naturally guided to the rest. Democracy implies diversity of culture, beliefs, and practice. Celebrating diversity implies equality, which is upheld by justice. Freedom is what makes it all possible.

The speech remarked on the success of the G20 summit and also boosted India’s emergence as the voice of the global south, adding a necessary element to the international discourse.

Gender equality has been given more attention, with Parliament passing the historic women’s reservation bill where one-third of seats are set aside for women in the lower house of Parliament, the Delhi Legislative Assembly, and the state legislative assemblies across the country. This will be a valuable tool for women’s empowerment and will also assist in improving the processes of governance when more women are involved in matters of collective importance.

In 2023, India made history by being the first country to land near the south pole with its Chandrayaan-3 lander on 23rd August 2023. India’s space program is aimed at expanding and deepening the role of science and technology for the benefit of the entire humanity.

India’s future is shaped by the minds of the teachers who are the real architects of India’s future. India salutes the members of the armed forces and powerful military forces.

by Marion Kate