The Ashok Stambh (Ashoka pillar), the national emblem of India was unveiled, on Tuesday, in the yard of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture (IGCIC), in Phoenix, during an official ceremony held to mark the commencement of a two-year long celebration of 75 years of the Independence of the Republic of India.
The President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun, the High Commissioner of India to Mauritius, Mrs K. Nandini Singla, the Minister of Arts and Cultural Heritage, Mr Avinash Teeluck, and other personalities were present. On this occasion, an exhibition on the Pillars of Ashoka was also held.
In his address, President Roopun underlined that the Ashoka Stambh is well suited to be placed at the IGCIC since it will add to the grandeur of the centre. The Pillar of Ashoka, he said, will inspire visitors to embrace principles of peace, tolerance and justice.
He commended India’s contribution to humanity especially in the fields of science, technology, medicine, biotechnology, business and trade, cinema and arts and Indian diaspora amongst others. India, he stated, has, over the last 50 years, proven to be an active partner both bilaterally and internationally thereby providing assistance to several countries to strengthen their economic growth and infrastructural development.
He spoke of the deep bond between Mauritius and India while highlighting that the rich and vibrant Indian culture will be preserved in the country in the form of activities and programmes to be held during the two-year long celebrations.
High Commissioner Singla indicated that India has transformed, over the years, to become one of the top global and power economies as well as the world’s biggest democracy. The Ashoka pillar, she observed, created by the renowed Indian king Ashoka encapsulates the vision of India to promote peace, prosperity and universal brotherhood.
She recalled that the Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav launched by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, on 12 March 2021 coincides with the Independence Day and Republic Day of Mauritius, which she said, is symbolical of the fraternal and long-lasting relations between the two countries.
The two-year long celebration, she added, begins 75 weeks before the celebration of India’s 75th Independence Day in 2022 and will continue till 15 August 2023.
For his part, Minister Teeluck expressed gratitude to the Government of India for its unwavering support in several major developmental projects. He also spoke of the assistance of India to Mauritius in limiting the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and kickstarting the national vaccination campaign.
His Ministry, he stated, will fully collaborate with the High Commission of India to make of the two-year long celebration, a major success in Mauritius.