Today is indeed a special day. We are here to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence. On this occasion, I convey my warmest greetings to you. May India continue to soar. May its people progress in leaps and bounds. And may the Tricolor fly high in the comity of nations.
My humble tribute to our founding leaders, who won us freedom and showed us the path of democracy. In the last 75 years, our journey has been one of pride, fulfillment, honor and unity. We have deepened democracy, nurtured inclusive growth and celebrated our diversity and cultural ethos.
At the core of our freedom and Our Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, lie our people. They have shaped our imagination, our democracy and our civilization. And so, we are here to celebrate their resolve, their determination, their courage and their resilience. From scratch, they built a nation of billion dreams and billion achievements. And for ages and centuries, through their creativity and thought, allowed the Indian cultural stream to flow and the civilization moved on.
We also owe our success to international partners and supporters. And in this rubric, India-US special ties and friendship has left an indelible mark – from ideas and thought, to institutions and partnerships; from Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King, from Tom Paine to Swami Vivekanand; and from Artificial Intelligence to IIT Kanpur. Let us celebrate these and myriad other connections that bind us together, more so for we also mark 75 years of India-US bilateral ties this year.
Of India, the famous American Traveler Mark Twain wrote, and I quote: “India is the cradle of the human race, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” – unquote. In this cross-flow of ideas, our wisdom and ancient texts, the Upanishads and our universal thought have made a valuable impression.
As the Ustad of India, and the Maestro of the world, Amjad Ali Khan strikes his Sarod, the myriad facets of our cultural wealth and history will resonate deep and far. And as he tunes to the Refugee Orchestra, our ethos of harmony and peace will come to the fore.
I would like to end by what the great Tamil scholar Subramanya Bharti wrote about Independent India in Tamil:
We the people are all one race
We the people are all one clan
We the people are all Indians
We the people, are rulers of this country
Yes, all are rulers of this country- Long Live India – Unquote.
And on that path of unity and togetherness, we have lived freedom and practiced democracy. That is our message to ourselves and to the world – as we look into the future.
I thank the Indo-American Arts Council for their support in making India@75 festival in New York a memorable celebration.
I thank you for sharing our joy and pride. I wish you an enjoyable evening.
Jai Hind !