-says former President Donald Ramotar
REFLECTING on India’s journey from colonial rule to independence, members of the Guyana Peace Council and the administration of the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre on Wednesday held a panel discussion in honour of the country’s 75th Independence Anniversary.
The discussion took place at the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre in Kingston, Georgetown, where former President Donald Ramotar highlighted that it was the strides made by the then British-ruled South Asian country that paved the way for the demolition of colonial rule of several other nations across the globe.
“Without doubt, this is one of the most important dates in modern-day world history, the independence of India. The endless struggle for independence unleashed a movement in the world that has now most of the countries free,” the former president said.
British colonial rule in India had been established through a series of wars fought across the subcontinent from the mid-18th century onwards. India achieved its Independence from British colonial rule on August 15, 1947.
Ramotar noted that the struggle for freedom was a long and tiresome one that saw the sacrifices of many freedom fighters, who laid down their lives for their country and many other countries that were once colonised.
It was noted that it is for this reason that the celebration of the day is not limited to the country’s people.
“Before India’s independence, some two thirds of the world were living in colonial or semi-colonial conditions.”
Meanwhile, India’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr K J Srinivasa reiterated that India’s independence is not only a cause of celebration for just Indians, but for all of those who advocated and fought for democracy.
The High Commissioner said that when India won independence in 1947, there were many international leaders and experts who were skeptical of the success of a democratically elected government in India.
It was noted that during those days, democracy was limited to economically advanced nations.
“India, after so many years of exploitation at the hands of foreign rulers, was marked by poverty and illiteracy, but we Indians proved the sceptics wrong,” he added.
The Indian diplomat highlighted that to date, the country is among the fastest-growing major economies in the world with extraordinary progress made in the development of physical and digital infrastructure.
This has seen the country fostering meaningful partnerships with Guyana and many other countries, he said.
“I believe we are here to partner with Guyana and other countries across the world to share what we can in the field of health care, pharmacies, science, technology, capacity building etc.,” he added.
Also present at the event was President of the Guyana Peace Council, Clement Rohee.