A cultural week, to be held from 02 December to 08 December 2022 as part of the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Mauritius, was launched, yesterday, at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture (IGCIC), in Phoenix.
The President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Sooroojdev Phokeer, the High Commissioner of the Republic of India to Mauritius, Mrs K. Nandini Singla, several Ministers, Members of Parliaments and Members of the Diplomatic Corps, as well as other eminent personalities were present on the occasion.
In his keynote address, the President highlighted that this cultural week under the inspiring and meaningful theme “Jashna-e-Dosti” Lind e Moris – Lamitie pour touzour” bears testimony to the fact that India is always by our side as a strategic diplomatic and economic partner thus representing a valuable heritage which should not be undermined and continuously nurtured.
Furthermore, he recalled that only a few months after its Independence on 15 August 1947, India appointed Mr Dharam Yash Dev as the First Commissioner to Mauritius in September 1948, which marked the formal beginning of an outstanding diplomatic journey between Mauritius and India. “We are thus actually celebrating the 75th anniversary of the independence of India as well as the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between or two brotherly countries,” he said.
India, he underscored, has become a prominent actor in the global scene and assumes a growing international influence and it is a matter of great pride for the country that Mauritius has been invited as a Guest Country to the G20 by India. This invitation is yet another testimony of the excellent relationship nurtured with India and the fruitful results which come out for our country to also stand out on the international scene, the President stressed.
For her part, High Commissioner Singla accentuated that even though our formal diplomatic relations began 75 years ago, India arrived in Mauritius 188 years ago with its cultural traditions, when the first 36 indentured labourers landed at the Aapravasi Ghat in the year 1834. “That is why we began the year-long celebrations of our 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations with a first-of-its-kind Art Exhibition showing 75 artworks depicting India-Mauritius relations from the perspective of 75 Mauritian artists followed by the economic event of CECPA,” she pointed out.
In addition, Mrs Singla indicated that this cultural week will comprise, among others, diverse dance and music traditions of India and Mauritius; theatre shows such as Ghazals, Qawwali and Bollywood along with an Art Exhibition, a mini Food Festival followed by an Indian film festival where a selection of Indian movies will be played for free in theatres.
Mauritius, she underlined, was one of the first ten countries in the world where independent India sent its very first batch of Ambassadors. “The latest testimony to our growing partnership has been demonstrated when India took over the G20 Presidency for the first time in history, and honoured our time-tested friendship by inviting Mauritius as a special guest country to the G20,” Mrs Singla said.
The High Commissioner also highlighted that India will be hosting the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2023 in a few weeks after four years and looks forward to welcoming the Indian diaspora in large numbers. “To enable the participation of Mauritians in this celebration, Air Mauritius is offering a hugely discounted air ticket of only Rs 19,500 from Mauritius to Mumbai and the Government of India is providing steep discounts on hotel rooms and registration fees, among others,” she stated.