Prime Minister Boris Johnson marking 75th anniversary of India’s independence tweeted a throwback photo of himself on Monday morning, garlanding Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat, during his recent visit to India.
Mr Johnson’s accompanying message said, “Congratulations to the people of India on 75 years of independence. During my recent visit to Gujarat and New Delhi I saw for myself the thriving Living Bridge between our countries. I look forward to seeing these bonds go from strength to strength in the next 75 years.”
Celebrating ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the flag hoisting ceremony took place at India House on Monday morning followed by an evening reception at the West India Docks, near Canary Wharf. The celebration that had many from the enthusiastic diaspora attending, also included the arrival INS Tarangini, an Indian Naval sail training ship, visiting the UK moored there.
Echoing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign, Indian diaspora also raised a Tricolour at a West London home where the Indian spiritual leader Sri Aurobindo lived from 1884-87. The celebration coincided with Shri Aurobindo’s 150th birth anniversary.
The West India Dock in East Loondon looked majestic on Monday with the huge sail ship in the backdrop of Thames and Canary Wharf, and a grand Tricolour flapping in the wind, towering above all.
The welcome address to the guests was given by Naval Advisor, Indian High Commission, Commodore Anil Jaggi.
Speaking at the event, Acting High Commissioner of India, Mr Sujit Ghosh said, “The visit of INS Tarangini adds to the occasion. We are delighted the Commanding Officer of Tarangini and his officers are here today to celebrate the day with us. India’s 75 years of journey has truly been a remarkable one. Today India is the fastest growing major economy in the world, driven by the mantra of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikaas, sabka viswas and sabka prayas’. India is home to 1.3bn people and known for its democracy, diversity, inclusiveness, credential as an economic power, together with science, technology, and innovation. India has made considerable strides in the field of education, health, sanitation, infrastructure, and poverty alleviation. We are a young nation, we are also an ancient civilisation, rooted in the value and wisdom of our ancestors.”
Chief Guest Lt General Charlie Stickland CB OBE said, “Our Navy-to-Navy relationship is incredibly strong and diverse and has multiple themes of activities capability, cooperation, and people at a national level. The emphasis we place on the relationship is that India is about being with another outward looking partner, taking interest in global interests and global responsibilities.
“We believe in the rules-based system, we believe in freedom of navigation. And we are keen to operate and work alongside any nation that wants to work for stability and security that underpins prosperity around the globe. That is why we work so closely in India. And once you realise, Prime Minister Modi's vision for security and growth for all of the Indo Pacific, as two of the world's leading economic powers reliant on maritime trade, we are cooperating closely more and more…
“We look forward to the signing of new agreements on logistics training, and information sharing, particularly in maritime domain awareness. In the forthcoming meeting of our defence ministers soon, industry to industry collaboration is growing. And that is in line as you've heard with the Make in India policy. Our views avenues of cooperation span integrated electrical propulsion for ships to advanced core technology for jet engines. But there is so much more we can do with technology and with industry, in the underwater battle space, missiles and air defence, and in modern fighting aircraft and helicopters, and professional military training, and education.”
The concluding speech with humour was given by Commanding Officer of INS Tarangini, Commander Praveen Kumar.
Evening celebration photos by
Raj D Bakrania, Prmediapix