On 16 August, in the beautiful garden of the Indian Residence in Boyana, H. E. Mr. Sanjay Rana, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to the Republic of Bulgaria,

and his wife, Ms. Barbara Jaworska, hosted a reception on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the country's Independence.

The event was honoured by: Ms. Tsvetelina Penkova, MEP, Mr. Assen Vassilev, Minister of Finance, Prof. Yanaki Stoilov, Minister of Justice, Prof. Velislav Minekov, Minister of Culture, Ms. Zaritsa Dinkova, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Violeta Lorer and Ms. Monica Dimitrova-Beecher, Deputy Ministers of Finance, Ms. Vessela Kondakova, Deputy Minister of Culture, and Ms. Maria Belkoleva, Deputy Minister of Tourism. The reception was attended by representatives of ministries and institutions, mayors and regional governors, ambassadors and diplomats, representatives of the business, culture, education, science and media spheres, partners from the Indian-Bulgarian Business Chamber and the Balkan-Indian Business Association.

India achieved its independence on 15 August 1947 and became a republic on 26 January 1950. Since then, India has proudly and confidently pursued the path of its own development, with the objective of prosperity and well-being of the Indian people.

After hearing the anthems of India and Bulgaria, H. E. Mr. Sanjay Rana addressed his guests with "Dobar den!" and "Namaskar!" and with a heartfelt "Welcome!" at the Indian Residence for the celebration of the 75th Independence Day of India... And in his welcome speech he said:

Today is a special celebration as the 75th Independence Day marks a historic milestone in the journey of India from a civilization state towards a contemporary nation. 

In the 75 years that have passed, the people of India have displayed a huge collective commitment to creating a vibrant democracy, a modern economy and an energetic civil society.

We have built upon the efforts of many known and many more unknown freedom fighters, as well as the work of large masses of citizens who nurtured the Nation.

To pay homage to all those whose efforts and sacrifices made our present possible, we will be marking the coming year as the "Festival of Independence" or as we say in Hindi "Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav".

In the last 75 years, India has undergone a big change in mindsets as well as capabilities. 

Today we are proud to be a vibrant democracy with demonstrated political stability, growing economy with an increasing number of unicorns, skilled talent pool, and a large entrepreneurial class.

Recent reform measures have created a conducive environment for all-round growth and visible results.

In the last 5 years, India has risen from 81 to 48 in the Global Innovation Index rankings. 

In the last 5 years India has risen from 142nd to 63rd in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings.

India has emerged as preferred destination for FDI among global investors. We received FDI worth USD 82 Billion last year.

The renewed self-confidence and enterprise spirit can also be seen in the exponential growth of India’s start-up eco-system.

Over the last one and half years, India like all other countries was severely tested by the Covid pandemic.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, people of India have responded courageously to this challenge. Our scientists, innovators and industrialists rose to the occasion to be self-reliant in the medicines and vaccines. The "Made in India" vaccines enabled us to undertake world’s largest vaccination campaign. Last week, India crossed the threshold of 500 million vaccinations.

We are particularly proud that even in the crisis, we chose to look beyond our narrow self-interest and helped others wherever we could. We exported medicines and vaccines to over 140 countries. We also value the help we received from friendly countries in fighting the Covid pandemic. Through thought and deed, we remained true to our values of regarding the world as one family.

In these 75 years, India has emerged as a confident country playing an increasingly salient role in the international system.

Today, as a democratic polity, a pluralistic society and an innovative economy with a culture of unmatched diversity, our contributions have a real weight and value.

India is seen today as a first responder, a climate action leader, the pharmacy of the world, a reservoir of talent and as reliable development partner.

As a leading contender for permanent seat of an expanded UN Security Council, India has emphasised that it will be an ‘advocate of dialogue and a proponent of international Law. As a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Councill for the eight time, India holds the presidency of the Council during August 2021 and has organised three high-level signature meetings on maritime security, peacekeeping, and counterterrorism to underline its contributions to peace and security.

India and Bulgaria are both old civilizations and young nations. We enjoy a close, long-standing, and friendly bilateral relationship based on high-level political engagement, strong people to people connection and increasing cooperation in many areas.

The business and investment between our countries has been growing steadily. Bulgarian companies in India are doing well; many more Indian businesses are looking to invest in Bulgaria.

There is a great reservoir of goodwill and a strong connection of mutual respect between our people. I was personally delighted to see that the International Day of Yoga was celebrated in more than 45 cities all over Bulgaria.

Both the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ramnath Kovind when I met him before coming to Sofia, and the Hon’ble President of Republic of Bulgaria, H. E. Rumen Radev to whom I presented my credentials in July, emphasized their desire and commitment for enhancing the intensity of bilateral engagements between India and Bulgaria and increase our cooperation in all areas.  

India and Bulgaria also have good cooperation at the multilateral level.

Earlier in May, when we had an India-EU Leaders' Meeting, Bulgaria‘s was a strong voice of support for building a stronger India-EU partnership for achieving prosperity for our peoples and for the global good.

As I conclude, I emphasize our commitment to work with our Bulgarian partners to take our bilateral relations to a higher level as our cooperation holds great potential and promise for mutual benefit.

Thank you for your attention.

Then, the guests of the reception were invited to try the refreshing Indian drinks and culinary specialties of the amazingly delicious Indian cuisine. Of course, everyone indulged in lively conversations in the coolness of the Residence's garden. Finally, each guest left with a heart full of satisfaction and a soul full of pleasure from the pleasant experience. As well as a with gift - jars of ghee /purified butter from a creamy butter according to a Vedic recipe/ and sweets... As well as a magazine about India - the amazing country that captivates every heart.

Photos – courtesy of the Embassy of the Republic of India to the Republic of Bulgaria.