Remarks by Ambassador at the Celebration of Vishu, Gudhi Padwa, Baisakhi, Puthandu, Bihu and Ugadhi
Distinguished guests, principals, teachers, students, media representatives who have joined us today, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Afternoon.
I am delighted to welcome you all to today’s mostly virtual program.
I begin by wishing all my friends in Kuwait and our Indian community in Kuwait Ramadan Kareem, Ramadan Mubarak! May this holy month show us all the light of solidarity, kindness and harmony!
I thank HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for welcoming the large Indian community which calls Kuwait its second home.
Today is an auspicious day. According to Indian calendar, it is Chaitra Shukla Pratipada – first day of the waxing moon fortnight of the month of Chaitra, the first month of Indian calendar! It is the New Year Day in many states of India, it is celebrated as harvest festival in many parts of India. And what a beautiful coincidence and proof of innate harmony and alignment of different spiritual paths it is that this is also the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan!
I must also note that many of our compatriots will begin their Navaratri fasts during this time. Today is the first day of Chaitra Navaratri, the first of the nine holy days during 13-22 April 2021 when the devout Hindus fast and worship Maa Shakti. How incredible it is that the expression of gratitude to nature for a bountiful harvest as well as observance of asceticism are common elements of significance of this festive time across faiths and regions.
On such an auspicious day which heralds the spring-time harvest in many parts of India and signifies a new beginning for all, we must take a moment to pause and cheer ourselves up. This is all the more important in the times we are living in, where there are difficulties and challenges all around us and therefore, we must resolve to come together, even if virtually and make a new beginning towards health, peace and prosperity for all. Of course, we will do all this by fully adhering to the protocol and guidelines associated with Covid 19 pandemic.
Today we celebrate Gudhi Padwa in Maharashtra, Ugadhi in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu and Vishu in Kerala. In the eastern part of India, we celebrate Bihu in Assam and in the north, we celebrate Baisakhi in Punjab. Celebration of a spring harvest and new beginnings of the New Year is the essence of all these festivals, which differ in name and somewhat in form but together in their diversity, signify the underlying unity and beauty of Indian culture.
I wish you all once again on this occasion and hope you all will enjoy a short cultural program later in the program.
Today we also have with us some students, who excelled in a Science contest called Shastra Pratibha Contest organized by Science International Forum, Kuwait. I congratulate all the winners for their effort and interest in science and technology. I commend the organizers for their initiative and hope that they will continue to work towards popularization of science among Indian students in Kuwait. Science and technology is our beacon for future and as you all are aware, Government of India is taking every effort to promote innovation, research and development. I wish more and more of you will take active interest in this field and continue with your passion even as you take up your higher studies. My best wishes to you all!
My congratulations to teachers and principals who have worked with you to make this possible.
In this special year when India begins its celebrations for 75th anniversary of India’s Independence; and India and Kuwait celebrate 60 years of establishing diplomatic relations; the Embassy of India welcomes you all to celebrate India’s cultural heritage and the very special, close and warm India-Kuwait cultural relationship.
Before I conclude, let me remind you, today is the day to pay homage to the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. It was on April 13 Baishaki day that many of our innocent forefathers were slaughtered by an oppressive foreign power. Let’s remember the contributions of our many heroes who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of India. Each day when we celebrate our freedom in this year of 75th anniversary of India’s independence, let’s remember and pay homage to our freedom fighters and those who contributed in building a modern India.
I invite you all to join us tomorrow when we celebrate the life and contributions of one of the great heroes of India - Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, architect of the constitution of India. We are celebrating his birth anniversary. See you all tomorrow, stay safe and follow Covid 19 protocol.
Thank you all once again and Wish you all Happy New Year, Happy Festivals and Ramadan Kareem.