The 73rd Independence Day of India was celebrated on Thursday at a ceremony marked by patriotic fervour and attended by a large number of community members at the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) in Doha.
Indian ambassador P Kumaran hoisted the Indian flag on the occasion to the accompaniment of the national anthem, which was followed by a speech and presentation of patriotic songs.
The event was attended by a large number of Indian expatriates, including representatives of various social and cultural organisations, community leaders from different Indian states and students from various Indian schools.
After the Tricolour was raised, a special function was held at the ICC's Ashoka Hall, which was packed with community members.
Independence Day functions were also held at different Indian schools in Qatar.
Addressing the gathering at the ICC, ambassador Kumaran greeted the gathering and commemorated the sacrifices and achievements of freedom fighters and soldiers.
He hailed their efforts to move the country forward and said India was racing towards becoming a socially and economically developed country.
The envoy read out excerpts of the Independence Day speech by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind in Hindi and English.
“This is a happy and emotional day for all the children of Mother India, whether living at home or abroad. We remember with gratitude the countless freedom fighters and revolutionaries who struggled, strived and made heroic sacrifices to win us our freedom from colonial rule," the president said in his message.
“Earlier this summer, the people of India participated in the 17th general election, the largest democratic exercise in human history.
For this, I must congratulate our voters," the message continued. "I am confident that the recent changes made in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh would be of immense benefit to those regions."
The ambassador cut a cake to celebrate the occasion with community members and students.
Students from MES Indian School, Birla Public School and Bhavan's Public School and members of various community organisations sang patriotic songs.
ICC president A P Manikandan welcomed the gathering.
Rajesh Kamble, counsellor at the Indian embassy, Captain Kapil Kaushik, defence attache at the embassy, and Anjan Ganguly, ICC member, were also present.