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Speech of the Minister of National Defence on the occasion of the celebration of the 72nd Republic Day of India

Posted on: January 26, 2021 | Back | Print

His Excellency, Mr. Abhay Kumar, Ambassador of the Republic of India,

Dear colleagues, Members of the Government,

Ladies and Gentlemen Ambassadors,

Ladies and Gentlemen, General and Honorary Consuls,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Representatives of International and Regional Organizations,

Honorable guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,


I am particularly honored be able to associate with  you and the Indian community in Madagascar in celebrating, on this day, the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the Republic of India.

Your Excellency Ambassador,

Allow me to present to you, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Madagascar, His Excellency Mr. Andry Nirina RAJOELINA, on behalf of the Government and the Malagasy people and in my personal name, our warmest congratulations as well as our best wishes for prosperity and of happiness to His Excellency Mr. Ram Nath KOVIND, President of the Republic of India, His Excellency Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister and to the Government and people of India.

Excellency Ladies and Gentlemen,

January 26, 1950 is a historic day for India. On this glorious date, two years after its independence on August 15, 1947, the Indian Union, adopted a Constitution which made it a Republic.

But this commemoration is also, above all, that of regained freedom. Indeed, after two centuries under the colonial yoke, the nonviolent movements led by the Father of the Indian Nation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, as well as the valiant struggle of Indian nationalists paved the way for India to establish its own constitution of a free and independent Republic.

In 72 years of being a Republic, India has met the immense challenges before it. Thanks to the tireless efforts and selflessness of its leaders, and above all, to the support and confidence of its people, India is today a model of success for many countries, especially Africans, aspiring to emerge.

Since 2019, the Malagasy Government has been making all efforts to establish the foundations of harmonious economic and social development. In this effort, just as India has been, Madagascar is careful not to leave any community, region, or province behind in the march towards common progress.

We still face many challenges, but fortunately, Madagascar can count on loyal partners like India to support it. In this regard, we appreciate India's aspiration to become one of Madagascar's major partners in achieving its objectives of economic emergence, in accordance with the Emergence Madagascar initiative launched by the President of the Republic, His Excellency Mr. Andry RAJOELINA.

Excellency Ladies and Gentlemen,

The celebration of this day allows us to look back on the achievements of cooperation between our two countries, in order to better determine the future prospects.

India and Madagascar officially established diplomatic relations on August 27, 1968. Since that date, relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries have continued to develop. The memorable visit of His Excellency Ram Nath KOVIND, President of the Republic of India to Madagascar, in March 2018, was one of the highlights of this long cooperation.

I would also like to take this opportunity to quote some of the cooperation projects carried out jointly with India:

  • The establishment of the Center on geo-informatics applications for rural development (CGARD) in 2018,
  • The granting of capacity-building scholarships for State personnel, since 2007, in the context of socio-cultural development and military cooperation,
  • Donations of medicines and medical equipment including the Bhabhatron II machine for cancer treatment, not to mention support for the fight against Covid-19 in 2020,
  • Finally, the inclusion of Madagascar in the general system of preferences for developing countries.

I also cannot ignore the solidarity of the Government and the Indian people towards the Malagasy people in the difficult times that we have recently gone through. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the various emergency humanitarian aid, in particular the 600 tonnes of rice, food, first aid kits, and the medical mission deployed following the bad weather in January 2020.

Still in this outpouring of solidarity, allow me to express already the gratitude of the people and the Malagasy government for the support of the Indian Government by the granting, soon, of 1000 tons of rice in order to face the serious consequences of the drought in southern Madagascar.

India, through these various actions, has once again translated into action Mahatma Gandhi's words, which I quote: 'Love is the most powerful force the world has, and yet it is the most humble that can be imagined”.

Excellency Ladies and Gentlemen,

Finally, I cannot end my speech without recalling that Madagascar has hosted, for over a century, a large Indian Diaspora in Madagascar. This Diaspora is a privileged witness to the contemporary history of Madagascar. They have stood with the Malagasy people in all their great moments, but also in all their trials. Today, they must be recognized as a major player in Madagascar’s national economy, because they contribute to building this country on a daily basis.

Excellency Ladies and Gentlemen,

In order to strengthen the various privileged links that unite our two countries, I express the wish to see our bilateral cooperation strengthening in all areas that allow us to support the development of our two countries and promote the well-being of our two peoples.

Long live the friendship and cooperation between India and Madagascar!

Thank you for your attention.