Dubai: Indians in the UAE are celebrating their country’s 70th Republic Day with various programmes in the premises of the Indian missions, schools and community organisations this weekend.
The occasion marks the anniversary of the country’s constitution coming into effect on January 26, 1950.
Republic Day celebrations were kicked off at the Indian Consulate auditorium on Thursday by a group of students, who will be taken to a five-day trip to New Delhi as part of the Proud to be an Indian quiz competition by Asianet News. Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul was the chief guest.
On Friday evening, the mission is hosting a cultural event titled Bharat Parv (Celebrating India) where all Indians and friends of India are invited. Students, local artists and community members will take part in various cultural programmes.
The highlight of the celebrations will be the presence of a group of war heroes and parents of martyrs, who will be felicitated by the Consul General.
The senior most braveheart to be honoured is Rear Admiral K. Mohanan, who took part in the 1971 war against Pakistan, flying from the decks of the aircraft carrier warship INS Vikrant.
The next honouree will be Lt. Cdr Praveen, who took part in the 1994 UN Peace Keeping Mission in Somalia.
Major-turned-director-cum-actor A.K. Raveendran aka Major Ravi, will also be felicitated.
Receiving respect for the sacrifice of their children in the line of duty will be PKPV Panicker and Kalyani Panicker, parents of Kargil war martyr Captain PV Vikram; and K. Unnikrishnan and Dhanalakshmi Unnikrishnan, parents of NSG Commando Major Unnikrishnan, who was killed during the November 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
They will also be honoured by Flowers TV, a Malayalam channel that has flown them in for its Republic Day celebrations on Saturday.
The official flag hoisting ceremony at the Indian missions will be held on Saturday morning.
Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri will hoist the flag at the Indian Embassy at 9am. Following a brief cultural programme, the Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul will hoist the flag at 8am. The top diplomats will also read out excerpts from the President’s Address to the Nation on the occasion.
The consulate in association with the Indian High School in Dubai will hold a mega celebration at the school’s campus in Oud Metha from 8.30am.
Abu Dhabi Indian School — Muroor, the largest school in the emirate, will also mark the day with cultural performances by students. There will be a special programme dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, whose 150th birth anniversary is also being celebrated.
Various other Indian schools and community organisations in the UAE are also marking the occasion with patriotic fervour.
Indian Republic Day events in UAE
Indian Consulate in Dubai
Friday 5.30pm — Cultural event Bharat Parv where war heroes and martyrs parents will be honoured
Saturday 7.30am — Brief cultural programme followed by flag hoisting
Indian High School Dubai
Saturday 8.30am — Flag hoisting followed by cultural programmes by students
Indian Embassay in Abu Dhabi
Saturday 9am — Flag hoisting ceremony
Abu Dhabi Indian School — Muroor
Saturday 9am — Cultural performances by students