Dubai: As India celebrates its 76th Independence Day today, August 15, Indian expats and business leaders in the UAE have shared their pride about their motherland’s march towards becoming a global leader and hopes for a new era of progress.
Speaking to Gulf News, they have also expressed their patriotic feelings as well as happiness over India’s strong ties with their second home, the UAE.
M.A. Yusuffali, chairman and managing director of Lulu Group, said: “On this occasion of India celebrating its 76th Independence Day, I wish all my brothers and sisters a very Happy Independence Day. This year, we are celebrating 75 years of independence as Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. Our great country is on its march towards becoming a $5 trillion economy. On this glorious occasion, I pray for the continued progress, prosperity, harmony, and coexistence in India. We love our country and work for progress of our country. Everybody should work together for its prosperity.”
Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director, Aster DM Healthcare, said: “India@75 is a new India, a role model for the developing world. It is a day of immense pride for all of us as we celebrate the success of the world’s largest democracy, a dream that our leaders and freedom fighters saw in 1947.”
Dr Moopen pointed out that India has been a strong partner in the UAE’s transformational growth.
“Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and the UAE in 1972, the bilateral relationship has expanded in scope and engagement has increased significantly.
Being home to 3.5 million Indian expatriates, the UAE has always shared mutual respect and unity with India. Over the past 50 years, numerous multi-level strategic partnerships between both nations have materialised, such as the recent CEPA [Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement] and the formation of an alliance, I2U2 [India, Israel, the UAE, and the USA]. For both nations, which are among the world’s fastest growing and future-ready economies, this new era of stronger partnership will witness new milestones over the next 25 years– the 100th anniversary of India’s independence and the 75th National Day of the UAE,” Dr Moopen added.
Dynamic leadership, unique culture
Dhananjay Datar, chairman and managing director, Al Adil Trading Co LLC, said: “This is a very proud moment for all of us since our country is celebrating its 75th Independence Day. On this happy occasion, I remember with gratitude the sacrifices made by our freedom fighters. I strongly believe that under the dynamic leadership of our beloved Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India will strengthen its position as one of the leading nations in the world.”
Meanwhile, Dr. K.P. Hussain, chairman and managing director of Fathima Heathcare Group, pointed out: “Today, India is positioned as one among the first world countries. This is not only due to its financial and economic growth, but also because we uphold our unique culture which is accepted and appreciated all over the world. On the 75th Independence Day, I congratulate all Indian citizens living in India and abroad a very happy Independence Day.”
Saluting brave heroes
Dr Shareef Abdul Khader, managing director, ABC CARGO said: “On this occasion of the 75th anniversary of Independence, we commemorate thousands of brave heroes who sacrificed their lives to build the nation we proudly behold. The freedom they once granted us is more than a value to be cherished. It is not just the right to choose your beliefs or speak up uncensored but also the freedom to live life on your terms, enjoy your time, and create your future.”
He added: “As a land of diverse languages, different terrain, and divergent cultures, India has always been an unresolved mystery to the rest of the world. Its unparalleled kinship has served the nation, time and again, to rise ahead of its inconsistencies. India has made remarkable progress not just in tradition but in technology as well. Let us hold hands together to pass the baton of light and knowledge in this race to betterment.”
Proud about tricolour
Dr Atul Aundhekar, a healthcare CEO in the UAE who prefers to be known as “a global Indian doctor”, said: “Indian Independence Day is the most important national festival as it makes us proud of our achievements as Indian citizens. This year it is more so as it 75th anniversary of Indian Independence. It is very visible that this patriotic feeling overwhelms all of us during this time of the year. Here in the UAE also we display Indian tricolour with pride.”
Ravi Chand, founder of Ambedkar Global Foundation, is someone who celebrates the Independence Day with workers in the UAE.
He said: “This year, India is celebrating 75 years of independence and we are also celebrating with theme ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’. Since my foundation works for the labour community, I went to labour accommodations and distributed food items and Jalebi, a special sweet for this day. My daughter Satvi, a Grade 3 student at Cambridge School enjoyed the serving the workers.
"With India becoming a global trade and political power, we the NRIs are very happy in the UAE and at the same time, we enjoy a great diplomatic and cultural relation with the UAE. I am happy with the trade agreement CEPA signed between India and the UAE and I believe it will bring a lot of prospects for the both countries.”
Dubai resident Sindhu Sreekumar, who is currently on a job break, is heading to her children’s school to celebrate the day. She said: “I get goose bumps when I listen to any patriotic songs. Even though I’m not living in India, my soul is there and I can never stop talking about India. Our culture, our family bonding, our unity, our food, our intelligence etc.
“Every time I go to India for vacation, the fragrances, the air it just touches my soul and gives me goosebumps. I remember all the freedom fighters on the 75th year of independence and thank them for the freedom that we have got. I just pray that God keeps our country safe, prosperous and successful. Long live our country and our tiranga [tricolour] which symbolises unity.”
Embracing India in UAE
Kajal Kishore, an HR Professional, residing in Dubai for almost 40 years, congratulated fellow Indians living in the UAE who have shown the true meaning of living in harmony with diversity.
“As I was born and brought up in the UAE, I have mostly celebrated my Indian Independence Days in Dubai itself, but the food, flavours and colours of this vibrant country have always made me feel near to home. Several years ago, my grandparents came from India to Dubai and celebrated their independence. Today, my family and I are embracing this day with Indian national songs, traditional wear, and tri-coloured sweets. I now look forward to celebrating the 100th Indian Independence Day in Dubai one day,” she said.
Virtual and real celebrations
For Khushwant Singh, a music instructor, the most exciting part of an Independence Day is to sing a patriotic song and put it on his social media.
“This year, I feel very proud to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Independence Day. I got married recently and I am attending the celebration at the Indian Consulate in Dubai with my wife. This is a time when we remember our national heroes and the sacrifices made by them. I would like to wish all my fellow Indian brothers and sisters very Happy Independence Day,” he said.