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High Commissioner Mrs. Ruchi Ghanashyam’s Speech at Republic Day Ceremony at Guildhall, London- 29.01.2020

Posted on: January 29, 2020 | Back | Print

Determined Contributions (NDCs) in addressing climate change. We have pledged to increase our renewable energy capacity to 450 Giga Watts by 2022. Government of India initiated the International Solar Alliance, with 79 signatory countries to the ISA Framework Agreement. ISA aims to promote the use of solar power across the globe. India has also taken the lead in launching a Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) for developing disaster resilient and sustainable infrastructure. India values UK’s important role in both these endeavours.

To truly appreciate India’s journey and achievements, they must be observed against the backdrop of persistent attempts to destabilize its political, economic and social foundations. We have been facing the challenge of cross border terrorism now for over four decades, due to which thousands of innocent Indian lives have been lost. As technology advances, the face of terrorism also mutates into subtle, insidious forms. False narratives and propaganda are spread to create disharmony, threaten peace and prevent progress. Government of India however remains steadfast in ensuring security within and on its borders and has taken progressive administrative measures towards economic development and socio-economic justice in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, a region crippled by decades of cross border militancy and terrorism.

With all our achievements, we believe that there is scope for more work and continuing innovations. We face many challenges – some small and some big. But my generation is confident that young India is capable of successfully innovating its way through all the hurdles towards progress and prosperity.


At this juncture, I must also touch upon our relations with the United Kingdom. India and the UK enjoy a close, cordial and a wide-ranging Strategic Partnership. India considers UK to be a natural partner. Our two countries not only share progressive democracies but also share values of universal peace and the rule of law. We face similar challenges ranging from terrorism to climate change that can only be tackled collectively by us and the world at large. Our bilateral economic relationship is the cornerstone of our Strategic Partnership. We have a bilateral trade volume of about £ 20 billion. UK remains amongst the topmost major investor countries in India.

A record 842 Indian companies operate in the UK with a combined turnover of over £ 48 billion. They also pay over £ 680 million as corporate taxes. Together, they employ 105,000 people within UK. This does not include employees of Branch operations of Indian companies in the UK.  

In my travels across the UK and my engagements with many sections of the diaspora, I am delighted to find that this symbiotic relationship is further cemented by what Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls the living bridge of over 1.5 million people constituting the Indian diaspora which plays a prominent role in bringing the two countries closer. No surprise then that the "chicken tikka" appears in the list of UK national dishes and Indian festivals are celebrated with the same fervor in the UK as in India.  We are looking forward to launching a report on 4th February highlighting the economic contributions made by the companies and enterprises owned by British Indians.

Last year we organized various events across the UK to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Devji and the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi to spread their messages of global peace and harmony. I thank the Indian diaspora for their contributions in these endeavours of the High Commission.

Before I close, I would like to avail of this opportunity to convey our heartiest congratulations to Hon’ble Members of Parliament Bob Blackman and Barry Gardiner on receiving Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian awards of India on this Republic day. India deeply appreciates and values your contributions to strengthening the friendship between our two nations.

I also express my gratitude to the Lord Mayor for making this stately venue available to the High Commission. I thank all our officers and members of staff in the High Commission, the Consulates in Birmingham and Edinburgh and Hon Consuls in Wales and Northern Ireland and all of you who have taken the time to be with us today.

Jai Hind