‘Twenty-sixth January is an important day for both Australia and India. Australia celebrates this day as Australia Day and India as Republic Day. As people comprise a country, warm greetings to all my fellow Australians and Indians on this day.
India gave me birth, values and education. Republic Day of India honours the date, 26 January 1950, on which the Constitution of India came into effect. India, one of the oldest civilisations on the planet, is the world’s largest democracy, a fast growing economy and the world’s second most populous country.
Australia adopted me as one of her own more than two decades ago and gave me freedom, honour and dignity. Australia, the largest island country in the world, is high up on the ladders of liveability, happiness and prosperity. Australia, home to people coming from nearly 160 countries, can be considered as a mini-world in itself.
Australia Day originally marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, in 1788. These days, however, Australia celebrates its social diversity and a diverse landscape on this day. This day is marked by community and family events, official community awards and citizenship ceremonies across the country that welcome new Australians.
To celebrate their unity in diversity, Australians say proudly, “We are many, but we are one.” Australian politics and elections are not driven by race, religion or regional politics. Typically, environment and sustainability, national economy, people’s health and socio-economic issues drive the current Australian politics.
Mutual respect, acceptance and tolerance between peoples coming from diverse ethnicities and religions are paramount – as building foundation blocks of freedom – for sustainable peace, health, happiness and progress of a sovereign country. Sovereignty and freedom come with responsibility, not only towards ourselves but towards all our fellow citizens.
Once freedom is misused or abused, it is lost.
“United we stand, divided we fall”, as a wise saying goes, Indians must learn from history and remain united to stay sovereign, otherwise history may repeat itself. Only when people remain united, their country remains unified, integrated, strong, progressive, healthy and happy.
In a democratic country, people must exercise their rights and privileges responsibly and not allow divisive and polarising forces – internal or external – to succeed in their unholy designs. The country is in the hands of people, who must look after it. People must vote carefully, with prudence and vision.
Social coherence and cohesiveness, with inclusiveness, are essential for the strength and survival of a country.
True lovers of freedom uphold the intrinsic human dignity and the freedom of all fellow humans. Let us, therefore, celebrate our human race and humanness on this day. We must commit ourselves to show acceptance and care for all our fellow citizens, from all ethnic and religious backgrounds.” … Bill K Koul