India’s pluralistic culture and tolerance being tested by “vested interests”
The Indian Cultural Centre this morning hosted a flag raising ceremony in observance of India’s 68th Republic Day.
Addressing a small gathering, that country’s High Commissioner to Guyana V. Mahalingam conveying the message on behalf of India’s President said the faith and commitment of the people gave life to the Constitution, while the nation’s founding fathers steered the “new nation” past its troubles of being poor.
India attained freedom on August 15, 1947 but on January 26, 1950 the Indian people gave themselves a Constitution to secure for all citizens, “justice liberty, equality and gender and economic equity.”
High Commissioner Mahalingam said on this day, 68 years ago India became the largest democracy of the world. He reflected that from a population of 360 million in 1951 India is now a 1.3 billion strong nation.
“Even though then our per capita income has shown a ten-fold increase. We are today the fastest growing amongst the major economies of the world. We are the second largest reservoir of Scientific and technical manpower, the third largest army, the sixth member of the nuclear club, the sixth member in the race for space, and the tenth largest industrial power, ” he recited.
Despite all the gains, the High Commissioner noted that the country must adjust its sails, “quickly and deftly” to the winds of change. “Our economy has been performing well despite the challenging global economic conditions. In the first half of 2016-17, it grew at a rate of 7.2 percent-same as that last year- showing sustained recovery. We are firmly on the path of fiscal consolidation and our inflation level is within comfort zone. Though our exports are yet to pick up, we have managed a stable external sector with sizeable foreign exchange reserves.”
“Demonetization, while immobilizing black money and fighting corruption may have led to temporary slowdown of economic activity. As more and more transactions become cashless, it will improve the transparency of the economy,” he said.
There was also a call for the nation’s people to work harder since the pluralistic culture and tolerance are still being put to test by “vested interests.” It was noted too that reason and moderation should be the guide in dealing with such situations.
The High Commissioner also participated in the Hoisting of India’s National flag, the National Anthem was played and there was the singing of India’s Patriotic songs.