Muscat: India’s 71st Independence Day is a momentous occasion for all Indians in Oman, said Indra Mani Pandey, the country’s ambassador to the Sultanate.
“This is very significant for all Indians, whether they are living in Oman or abroad,” he said, speaking to the Times of Oman. “It is a day when we remember our freedom fighters and this is also the day we rededicate ourselves to rebuilding a new India in the way that we want, and remember the dream of our freedom fighters.”
Pandey stressed the importance of people recalling the ideals under which independent India was founded, on August 15, 1947.
“It is really very important because Mahatma Gandhi’s idea of non-violence remains important today,” he added.
“In fact, this is more important today than it has ever been. My message is, that as citizens of India, we all need to join the task of nation-building, and I would like to convey to all Indians living in Oman that our embassy is their embassy, and they should come and visit us whenever they want,” the ambassador said.
“Remittances in itself are very important, but there is an organisation called the India Development Foundation, and they can identify and then contribute to projects under this foundation. This is an organisation managed by the Ministry of External Affairs in a very transparent way. This is a mechanism for making contributions, particularly for Government of India’s projects, such as Clean India, Ganga Action Plan, and other educational programmes.”
In keeping with India marking its 70th year of Independence, Pandey asked all Indians in Oman to set themselves personal development goals that they could achieve over the next five years, in time for India’s landmark 75th Independence Day.
“Today, India celebrates 70 years of independence, and we all seem to like round numbers,” he said. “Every Independence Day is a very important occasion, but the Government of India is looking to celebrate our 75th Independence Day in 2022 in a big way, where all Indians are being told to set a goal for themselves over the next five years, whether it is personal, for the community, or even for your country.”
The Indian Embassy in Oman plans to ramp up its relations with Oman through a series of seminars and trade shows that will be organised throughout this year and the next. “We will be showing our Omani brothers and sisters the achievements that we have made over the last 70 years,” said Pandey. “Of course, there are also many challenges that we face as a nation of 1,300 million people, and these challenges will grow in sectors, such as education, health and employment as we make population gains.”
“However, while Indians are living here, they have a responsibility towards the development of their homeland,” he added.
“I also want to thank His Majesty Sultan Qaboos for welcoming us, as we feel very warmly received in Oman. The legacy of Indians staying in Oman and trading between Oman and the Mediterranean goes back more than 5,000 years, so ours is not just a relationship between governments, but with people as well.”