Indian national day commemorated

| 06/02/2018
CNS Local Life

Alden McLaughlin (third from right) and Sevala Naik with Indian dancers

(CNS Local Life): The first-ever Indian Republic Day celebrated in Cayman by the Indian High Commission, which is headquartered in Jamaica, was marked by a reception 30 January at the University College of the Cayman Islands. At the event, Premier Alden McLaughlin acknowledged the positive contributions by Indian nationals to the Cayman Islands over the years, with High Commissioner for India Sevala Naik noting the history of the Indian Republic and investment opportunities in his country for Caymanian businesses.

The premier also paid tribute to the father of India, Mahatma Gandhi, and the non-violence movement he spawned worldwide, influencing prominent world leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr, stated a press release.

McLaughlin added that 30 January coincided with the 70th anniversary of Gandhi’s assassination, a day which is also marked in India as Martyr’s Day. He said that Gandhi lived his life by example, maintaining humility and an abiding love for the downtrodden and the working class, whom he championed.

Describing the local Indian community as a part of the fabric of the Cayman Islands, the premier said that according to 2017 statistics, there were about 1,100 Indian nationals resident in the Islands, or four percent of the community.

These included a number of medical professionals at the “ever-expanding and impressive Health City”, as well as those working in the restaurant industry or as doctors, accountants and lawyers.

Naik said in his opening remarks that India, which became a republic on 26 January, 69 years ago, adopted its constitution about three years after getting independence on 15 August 1947, and is now the world’s largest democracy.

Adding that 2017 was a “very fruitful and eventful year in the traditionally cordial and friendly relations between India and the Cayman Islands”, Naik referred to the first-ever roundtable business conference held in Cayman last year.

“We had quality participation from some of the big companies here and we shared about India surging ahead, a story of success and achievement in terms of economic development,” he said, adding India offered great investment opportunities for Cayman firms.

Currently the seventh largest economy with a GDP of US$2.3 trillion, India is poised to be “the fastest growing in 2018 with a projected growth of 7.4 percent, ahead of China, following which it would move into fifth position after the US, China, Japan and Germany,” Naik said.

He welcomed the special dispensation given by the Cayman Islands Government toward the setting up of Health City and said he hoped the collaboration would result in the establishment of a world-class medical university here.

He added it was especially gratifying to see Indians working as professionals, significantly contributing to the prosperity of Cayman.

In addition to the speeches, guests at the reception were treated to performances of both classical Bharatnatyam and Bollywood dancing, by a team of Indian youth from Jamaica.


Caption: Alden McLaughlin (third from right) and Sevala Naik with Indian dancers

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