ISLAMABAD/DUBAI: Indians worldwide soaked in the spirit of patriotism as they celebrated the Republic Day with fervour today to mark 63 years since the establishment of the Indian constitution.
At the Indian High Commission in the Pakistani capital, the High Commissioner, Mr Sharat Sabharwal hoisted the national tricolour at an official function.
Mr Sabharwal read out the India’s President, Ms Pratibha Patil's address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day and children of the High Commission's staff performed patriotic songs.
The function was held at the High Commission within the high-security diplomatic enclave in the heart of Islamabad.
Besides the traditional function held in Islamabad, the Indian High Commission will host two events in Lahore on January 27 and Karachi on January 29 to mark the Republic Day.
Leading businessmen, politicians, civil society activists and journalists have been invited to these events, at which the High Commissioner will be present.
Last year, the Indian High Commission hosted an event to mark Republic Day in the financial hub of Karachi for the first time in over 15 years. The last such event was held before the consulate in the city was shut down in late 1994.
The Indian High Commissioner in Singapore, Mr T C A Raghavan led the Indian community in the city state to celebrate the day.
He unveiled the national flag and read out the President's message to some 500 Indians gathered at the High Commission. Students from Indian schools in Singapore sang patriotic songs and danced at the celebration held this morning.
Indians in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh marked a more sombre celebration, using the day to organise a blood donation camp.
The camp organised by members of Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamaath (TNTJ), a social organisation from Tamil Nadu, donated blood at the King Fahd Medical City (KFMC), while embassies and consulates across the region organised flag-hoisting ceremonies to mark the Republic Day.
The organisation collected around 111 litres of blood from the volunteers as a mark of respect to their motherland, the TNTJ President, Mr Faisal Mohamed, an engineer working in a private company said. Voluntary blood donors also included Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis and Egyptians.
Mr Mohamed said his organisation decided to celebrate Republic Day in a more meaningful manner this year and express their patriotism in a way that could help others and save human lives.
The UAE's President, Mr Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan sent congratulatory cables to Ms President Patil, so did other top officials of the country. The day also saw a kavi sammelan and mushaira being organised on the occasion.
The Indian Embassy in Beijing too celebrated the Republic Day in its new premises, with the charge' d'affairs, Mr Rahul Chabbra hoisting the national tricolour. The ceremony was attended by large number of Beijing-based Indian professionals and their families to celebrate the function at the USD 10 million sand stone structure.
Welcoming the growing number of Indian diaspora in Beijing, Mr Chabbra said relations between India and China were on the upswing with bilateral trade registering a record USD 73.9 billion in 2011 over and above USD 61.7 billion in 2010. He said the embassy's efforts to reach out to the Chinese public through Weibo, the Chinese twitter progressed well with number of contacts crossing 5000 hits.
Efforts are on to expand the microblog linkages to reach out much larger sections of Chinese public to publicise various activities undertaken by the Indian mission.
On the cultural front, the Embassy also expanded its activities with the arrival of a new Indian dance teacher to train Chinese students in Kathak, in addition to a music teacher.
In Shanghai consulate, Ms Riva Ganguly Das hoisted the National Flag and read out excerpts from President's message.
'Lahiri', a musical group comprised of members of the Indian community rendered patriotic songs on the occasion.
In the Philippines capital Manila, the Indian Ambassador, Mr Yogender Kumar hoisted the national flag as the early morning celebrations were attended by over a hundred Indian nationals.
The diplomatic core based in Manila, business dignitaries, and other members of the Indian community also prepared for a reception where the Philippines Secretary, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr Albert Bel Rosario was the chief guest.