Visit of Indian President of India Droupadi Murmu

Consolidating India Mauritius ties

By Dr R Neerunjun Gopee

It is indeed a great honour and privilege for our country to have been graced anew by the presence of a President of India as Chief Guest during the celebration of our Independence Day. In fact, President Droupadi Murmu is the sixth President of India to do so since 2000, the previous one before her being her predecessor President Ram Nath Kovind who had come in 2018.

President Droupadi Murmu: Paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute

The visit that is most memorable to me personally is that of President Abdul Kalam in 2006. I attended the banquet given in his honour at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre. We had lined up to welcome him as he entered with the Prime Minister. It so happened that I had recently finished reading his semi-autobiography ‘Wings of Fire’, and as I was presented to him I expressed my appreciation of the book which shared his professional journey as a rocket scientist and his thoughts. Standing next to me was Dr K. Gajadharsingh who had studied in (then) Madras and greeted him in Tamil, which made him respond in the same language, his mother tongue, with a big smile.

It is interesting that the two leaders currently heading Bharat are both from humble origins, like President Abdul Kalam too whose father was a boatman. They similarly rose from where they were by dint of hard work and dedication to the higher cause of service to their people, their country, and humanity at large, an expression of Bharat’s millennial foundational values. Indeed, President Murmu concluded her speech at the official banquet on this note: ‘India will continue to be a force for global peace and shared prosperity, in keeping with its foundational values of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (‘the world is one family’) and Sarvajana Sukhina Bhavantu (‘may all be happy’).’ Read More… Become a Subscriber

Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 15 March 2024

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