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Republic Day 2019 Celebrations at India House.

Posted on: February 05, 2019 | Back | Print

Embassy of India

The Hague

Press Release

January 26, 2019

Over 500 people gather at the Indian Ambassador’s residence in Wassenaar, Netherlands to celebrate the 70th Republic Day of India

Over 500 people gathered at the residence of the Ambassador of India to the Netherlands H.E. Mr.VenuRajamony in Wassenaar this morning (January 26) for a flag hoisting function to celebrate India’s 70th Republic Day. The celebrations began with the hoisting of the National flag by the Ambassador, singing of the National anthem and reading out of President Ram NathKovind’s address to the nation. This was followed by a performance of patriotic songs. 

The event was attended by H.E. Mr. Bas Eenhoorn, Mayor of Amstelveen,H.E.  Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Ambassador of Bangladesh andH.E. Justice Dalveer Bhandari, Judge at the International Court of Justice and  prominent members of the Indian community residing in the Netherlands.

The flag-hoisting function witnessed a large gathering of the Indian diaspora, especially members of the Surinami-Hindustani community and friends of India who came together to celebrate this important day. 

The Republic Day celebrations also witnessed a special announcement by Ambassador VenuRajamony on liberalization of provisions regarding Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) status by the Government of India for members of the Surinami-Hindustani community. Earlier, there was a limitation that OCI could be issued only to four generations of the original forefathers who had migrated from India. Consequently, many young members of the Surinami-Hindustani community belonging to fifth and subsequent generations could not avail of this benefit.  As a result of persistent efforts by the Embassy, the Government of India has decided that, henceforth descendants up to sixth generation of the original Indian immigrants who had arrived in Suriname and later migrated to The Netherlands may be considered for OCI.

 Ambassador VenuRajamony invited all members of Surinami-Hindustani community who do not have an OCI card to apply for the same at the earliest. He also announced that because mandatory conscription was in force in the Netherlands prior to 1996, those members of the Surinami-Hindustani Community who were excluded from the OCI scheme can also now apply for OCI.

     The Netherlands has the largest population of Overseas Indians in mainland Europe, majority belonging to the 200,000 strong Surinami-Hindustani communitywhose ancestors were taken as indentured labour from India to Suriname 145 years ago.

India and the Netherlands have a long history of friendly bilateral relations going back to more than 400 years, encompassing many areas of shared interest. The Netherlands is one of the first three countries that established diplomatic relations with independent India in 1947.

Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mr. Mark Rutte visited India in May 2018 along with a high level delegation comprising of four Cabinet Ministers and the Mayor of The Hague. He was also accompanied by a trade mission comprising of 130 companies/institutions and nearly 200 trade representatives, which was the largest trade mission to India from the Netherlands.  Both countries have strong economic interests in each other.

On 1st December 2018, Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Mark Ruttealso met on the sidelines of the G20 in Buenos Aries and held discussions on boosting economic and cultural ties between India and the Netherlands.

 There are about 200 Indian companies based in the Netherlands and over 200 Dutch companies in India. The Netherlands was the third largest investor in India in 2018 and the second largest destination for Indian investments. Dutch companies invested in India worth US$ 2.8 billion in FY 2017-2018. The total investment from the Netherlands to India in the period April 2000 - June 2018 comes to around US$ 24.3 billion cumulatively. Netherlands is also a major investment destination for Indian companies with a total investment by Indian companies estimated at US$ 12.8 billion.

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