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Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry

May 2011

India, Mauritius to jointly fight terror and piracy: President Patil

On a five-day State Visit to Mauritius from April 24 to 28, President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil on April 26 said that India and Mauritius were “determined to confront” terrorism and piracy through joint action. In an address to the National Assembly of Mauritius in Port Louis, President Patil also hailed the parliamentary institutions and electoral processes of Mauritius.

Text of the President’s address: “I thank the Hon’ble Speaker of the National Assembly for giving me this opportunity to address members of this august House. From this democratic forum, at the outset, I convey warm greetings of the people of India, to the people of Mauritius. I am delighted to be in Mauritius, a beautiful and progressive country with friendly people. Our two countries have many similarities, shared values and indeed, are inspired by legacies of freedom and democracy, bequeathed to us by the founding fathers of our Nations.

Over six decades ago, on the eve of the historic occasion of India’s Independence, India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, spoke of India’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’, and that the future would be one of incessant work to fulfil pledges. Among these, were the building of India as a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation,and a pledge that India will cooperate with people of the world in furthering peace, freedom and democracy. On the momentous occasion of Mauritius’s Independence on March 12, 1968, the Father of your Nation, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam spoke of the respect of Mauritius for democratic principles, its love for justice and liberty which, he said, would be the guiding lights of your country’s national policy. It is this democratic imperative which brings us closer and binds us together.

In a democracy, parliamentary institutions play a very important role. These symbolise a national purpose, and are representative of the aspirations of the people. Every election marks a new mandate and is a renewal of democracy itself. I congratulate Mauritius for the successful conduct of its electoral processes. The democratic spirit that Mauritius has always believed in resonates in your august National Assembly, which is the citadel of democracy, freedom and justice. I congratulate Mauritius for holding aloft the torch of democracy with conviction. In India, the roots of democracy are deep and abiding. We are the largest democracy in the world with an unwavering faith in a democratic way of life. We have held 15 nationwide general

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PM announces international award to mark 150 years of Tagore’s birth anniversary

Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh addressing the inagural function of 150th Birth anniversary commemorations of Radindranath Tagore, in New Delhi on May 7th

A prestigious international award will be conferred every year in the name of the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who has the distinction of writing the national anthems of both India and Bangladesh. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made this announcement while inaugurating the 150th anniversary celebrations of the poet in New Delhi.

The award would be conferred on individuals who work for the promotion of international brotherhood and fraternity. Describing Gurudev as a multi-faceted genius, Dr. Singh said, “The Government of India has decided to institute a prestigious international award in the name of Rabindranath Tagore to recognise very distinguished contributions towards the promotion of international brotherhood and fraternity.”

Text of the Prime Minister’s address:

“We have gathered here today to salute and celebrate the life and work of a multifaceted genius who was a poet, a painter, a philosopher but above all a humanist who inspired and elevated his fellow men and women. It is a great honour and privilege for me to be present here today, at the inaugural function of the 150th Birth Anniversary Commemoration of one of the greatest luminaries of modern times, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.

The Great Sentinel — as Mahatma Gandhi called him — was a moral force behind our freedom struggle and one who gave a vivid and expressive voice to the depressed soul of India. Reading Gurudev’s sublime poetry or masterly prose, one wonders if humankind today has lost some of the finer sensibilities that inspired his works — the intimacy with nature, the quest for inner truth, the sense of solidarity and community that transcends borders and breaks down presumed barriers of religion, race or language.

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