Our Chief Guest, Honourable Shri. Sanjiv Arora,
Secretary (CPV & OIA)
(Consular, Passport & Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs)
Dr. Neena Malhotra,
Joint Secretary (MEA – Eastern & Southern Africa),
The Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador Hans,
Dean of the Foreign Service Institute,
Excellencies Ambassadors/High Commissioners,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Namaskar! Good Evening! Jambo!
I want to tell you that I struggled hard, but could not resist the temptation to speak at this function. But after I have participated effectively in the selection of the menu for tonight, I can assure you that you will be very well fed.
I have; therefore, no intention, at all, of dampening your appetite, in any way. I will only direct myself to a few etiquette issues and very few substantive matters, albeit briefly.
First and foremost, I consider your presence of all of you here today as a special honour to us and I wish, on behalf of my compatriots, to thank you for honouring us with your presence.
Secondly, let me sincerely thank Our Chief Guest, for accepting our invite to come and grace this occasion. When we wrote to the Ministry of External Affairs requesting them to provide us the Chief Guest we knew pretty well that it wasn’t going to be any easy task, given the timing of it against the ongoing General Election.
We know how taxing both mentally and physically elections can be. We also know that every minute at this particular time counts and is important. We hope that this invite this evening has not disrupted and caused too much damage to your election trail. And that is why we kept this programme reasonably short.
But let me, on behalf of the Government and the People of Tanzania wish the People of India a very peaceful election. May it be Peaceful and Conclusive in the expression of the Will of the People of this Great Nation!
Thirdly, I wish to especially welcome in our midst our “Special Guests” who have come to join us from far away. I wish to recognize them in a random fashion and I will ask you to wave your hand wherever you are:
Our Honorary Consul candidate in Dhaka, Mr. Shahedul Huq, please; one of the candidates for the position of Honorary Consul in Colombo, Madam Shani, please; our candidate for the position of Honorary Consul in Kathmandu, Mr. Rajesh Chaudhary, please; our friends from CISB in Mumbai, Mr. Krishna Pimple & Mr. Alban Rodricks please; The CEO of the Zanzibar Tourism Promotion Centre (ZTPC) in Mumbai, please; The CSO for Air Tanzania in Mumbai, please Madam Bansal, etc. I believe you will be happy to hear from her in your interaction about the commencement of the direct flights from DAR to Mumbai in July this year.
Celebrating 55 years of a stable, solid and effective Union of two Sovereign States (the then Tanganyika and Zanzibar) is such an important moment for us as a country. It is a fitting occasion when we cherish the vision of our founding Fathers of our nation, the late Julius Kambarage Nyerere and the late Abeid Karume.
It is also a fitting occasion when, as a country, we renew our firm commitment to consolidate and strengthen this unique Union that has served us so well. While presenting the ministerial budget proposal before the National Assembly last week, the Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office – Union Affairs and the Environment, Honourable January Makamba was quoted as saying: “The Union is the identity of our nation and an indicator of our unity”.
By and large, our Union was, and continues to be historic and living example of a step towards realising the vision of a United Africa. And as far as we are concerned, nothing is so good that cannot be made better. That is why we continue to do all we can to cement this unity for many years ahead.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At this juncture, I must point it out that it is heart warming that while we celebrate these 55 years of the Union, we are also celebrating 58 years of our diplomatic engagement and cooperation with India.
You may wish to take note that throughout all these years our historical, cultural and emotional ties with this Great Nation have continued to bind us together so firmly. We are indeed grateful to India as role mode and our credible friend, especially in the quest for development.
I will reserve the details of this rewarding and enduring relationship for reasons expressed at the beginning. But it suffices to mention, albeit in passing that, we had a very fruitful Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) in October last year during which important strategic decisions were made to promote and advance our bilateral engagement and to further foster our partnership and cooperation.
Broadly, the JCM underscored the fact that India and Tanzania partnership is defined by the spirit of developing together as equals. And this is reminiscent of Henry Ford’s wisdom that: “Coming together is the beginning; staying together is progress; and working together is success.” Indeed, we continue to work together with India with great passion and interest and that we are happy that the successes are noted by each passing day.
I would like to end as I started, by thanking the Chief Guest, and each one of you for availing your precious time to us. Thank you very much.
I would like also to sincerely thank all those friends who continue to execute as implementing agents of the various development projects and programs extended by the Government of India in Tanzania. Thank you very much.
Let me also thank all those friends who supported this function tonight as well as for the publication of a “Special Edition” for which we will be asking you to launch shortly. A special mention goes to WAPCOS, BLK, CISB NMDC Limited. We thank you so much and hope that you will continue the same way in future. I also wish to thank Krest Publications for the timely and very rich publication. Thank you so much.
I would like to thank my staff at the Mission, including, “those behind the scene” who worked so tirelessly to organize this event. Thank you very much.
And finally, with these few remarks (I believe), I invite you to raise a toast:
To the strong and solid Union of Tanzania;
To the progress and prosperity of Tanzania and India; and
To the ever-lasting friendship between Tanzania and India.
Cheers and thank you for your kind attention.