On the occasion of the 63rd Anniversary of Indian Republic Day, I convey my best wishes and warm greetings to all your readers and the people of Fiji.
India became independent on 15 August 1947. A Constituent Assembly was set up to work on the Constitution of our newly independent country. On 26th January 1950 the Constitution came into force and India became a Republic.
Moving forward from our colonial past, the journey began on the path of the nation's economic and social development. Along the way several decisions were taken that were important. As the private sector was still in a fledgling state, the public sector had to take commanding heights of the economy, even as the Government took measures to strengthen the private sector. Privy purses of former rulers and the zamindri system of land-owning were abolished. The green revolution was an important element in becoming self-sufficient in food grains. Considerable investment was made in science, technology and research, which is paying dividends now.
Over the past decades the people of India can rightly be proud of their achievements. We are all aware that many challenges still remain. We are committed to continue our efforts to overcome these challenges and work for inclusive social and economic development of our country.
India and Fiji share close and friendly relations. Over the past few years we have tried to strengthen our relations with the Government and the people of Fiji. We are happy to see that people-to-people contacts, academic exchanges and number of visitors have been increasing. The visits of His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, President of Fiji, His Excellency Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, Hon'ble Ministers and others over the past year have contributed to strengthening the framework of our relations.
We are happy that Fiji has assumed the Chair of G-77 plus China. Commodore Bainimarama would also be taking over the Chairmanship of the International Sugar Council this year. The growing role of Fiji internationally is in keeping with their contribution to the efforts for international peace and progress in multilateral fora and in the region.
We look forward to the support of the people of Fiji in further expanding our relations in the coming years.