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Why Bharat Matters

Why Bharat Matters

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25 March 2024 Issue 311 - Why Bharat Matters




India's Predicament and Why Bharat Matters


Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar - EAM presents PM Modi with the first copy of his book 'Why Bharat Matters'

By Kirtan Bhana - TDS
The Indian subcontinent has long been a crucible of civilizations, where the echoes of ancient wisdom mingle with the clamour of modern challenges. From the majestic remnants of the Indus Valley Civilization to the timeless epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, India's journey through time is marked by resilience, innovation, and the quest for identity.
At the dawn of human civilization, the fertile plains of the Indus Valley nurtured a sophisticated civilization that rivaled its contemporaries in Mesopotamia and Egypt. The ruins of Mohenjo Daro stand as evidence of the ingenuity of ancient Indians who mastered urban planning, trade, and craftsmanship millennia ago. Yet, the legacy of the Indus Valley Civilization also serves as a poignant reminder of the transience of human endeavours, as its decline remains shrouded in mystery.

Condolences pour in for Russia

Cranes projected on to Crocus City Hall flew across the site in memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks on Saturday, 22 March 2024. Soviet artist Muslim Magomayev, after who the concert hall is named, was known for singing a song called Cranes. The ballad is about fallen soldiers becoming birds.

The terrorist attacks in Moscow at the Crocus City Hall on 22 March claimed the lives of 137 people and left scores injured. Many countries have condemned the attacks and many leaders around the world extended condolences and expressed solidarity with Russia.
Russia declared March 24 National Day of Mourning and all across the world vigils are being held, candles are being lit and wreaths of flowers laid in memory of the victims.
The attack comes days after Russia's elections and the announcement of President Putin's victory.
Investigations are ongoing.

Honouring the Russian people


Nikolay Tsybulia, Defence Attaché of the Russian Embassy with Defense Attachés accredited to South Africa at the celebration of the Defender of the Fatherland Day (photo: TDS)

The Embassy of the Russian Federation in South Africa marked its annual Defender of the Fatherland Day on 23 February, commemorating the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve in the nation's armed forces. Mr Nikolay Tsybulia, Defence Attaché of the Russian Embassy, together with Mr Ilya Rogachev, Ambassador of Russia to South Africa, hosted a reception in honour of this occasion. Tsybulia emphasized the importance of solidarity and partnership forged through years of service. He envisioned a future of mutual cooperation and trust in a multipolar world that leads to equal opportunities for all nations and peoples.


Ambassador Chen bids a heartfelt farewell to South Africa
Ambassador Chen Xiaodong and Madame Zhang Bin deliver a farewell toast as their tour of duty in South Africa concludes (photo: Embassy of China)

After ‘a sweet almost three and a half years of living and working in this beautiful country,’ Ambassador Chen Xiaodong of the PRC comes to the end of his tour of duty in South Africa.
”I became the sixth Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of South Africa on September 23rd, 2020. It has been a sweet almost three and a half years of living and working in this beautiful country. The past over 1230 days and nights made me fall in love with the Rainbow Nation, which is full of charm and vitality.

Thailand Armed Forces Day 2024
Colonel Charkrit Proungsuwan, Defence Attaché of Thailand and Mr. Mungkorn Pratoomkaew, Ambassador of Thailand hosted a reception on the occasion of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Day. This day is commemorated each year on January 18 to mark the victory of King Naresuan, the Great in a battle against the Vice-King of Burma in 1593.
The Royal Thai Armed Forces have evolved and developed from protecting the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, to increasingly playing a bigger role in disaster relief efforts and international peacekeeping missions.

Japan and South Africa


Thulani Gcabashe (Chairman Hive Hydrogen SA) and Shinya Ishizuka (CEO ITOCHU Africa Bloc) sign the Memorandum of Cooperation witnessed by Ambassador of Japan Ushio Shigeru (top right) and Baphelele Mhlaba (Chief Of Staff at the Office of the Premier – Eastern Cape) - Hive

His Majesty Naruhito the Emperor of Japan celebrates his 64th Birthday this year. He was born on February 23rd. This day is also commemorated as Japan’s National Day. In Pretoria, South Africa, Japan’s Ambassador to South Africa Ushio Shigeru hosted a reception at the Embassy of Japan to mark this event.
“South Africa’s victory at the Rugby World Cup was particularly impressive, and I was moved by the way South Africans united around the team for their 4th win at the tournament. Currently, about 40 of South Africa’s best rugby players are active in various Japanese teams, greatly enhancing Japan’s rugby league. The intense games played by South African players are widely covered in Japan, exciting many Japanese people,” said Ambassador Ushio as he welcomed the guests attending the celebration.

Saudi Arabia bids for 2034 World Cup
IPictured (l-r) at the celebration of Saudi Arabia's Founding Day in Pretoria are Mahash Saeed Alhameli, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, Colonel Abdulaziz Al Turaifi, Defence Attache of Saudi Arabia, Sultan Al Harbi, Second Secretary of Saudi Arabia, Ali bin Yahya Najmi, Charge D’Affaires of Saudi Arabia and Salih Omar Abdu, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of Eritrea (photo supplied)

The Asian Football Confederation has backed Saudi Arabia as it formally launched a bid to host the 2034 Football World Cup. This bid for football's greatest showcase, with a 3.5 billion fan base, is a clear indication that the modernization of the Gulf country has picked up momentum and the vision of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – MBS the Head of Saudi Arabia’s government is being realised.
The roots of Saudi Arabia's civilization trace back to antiquity, with archaeological evidence dating back to around 7,000 BC. The land has been inhabited by various civilizations, each leaving their mark on the cultural landscape of the region. The birth of Islam in the 7th century further shaped Saudi Arabia's identity, as it became the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and the cradle of Islam.
On February 22nd, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrates its Founding Day, marking a momentous juncture in history. To mark this occasion, a reception was hosted by Charge D’Affaires Mr Ali bin Yahya Najmi of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to South Africa in Pretoria. From ancient civilizations to a modern-day powerhouse, Saudi Arabia has undergone a remarkable transformation, propelled by visionary leadership, strategic investments, and a steadfast commitment to progress.


National Day of Kuwait
The celebratory cake cutting ceremony of the 63rd Anniversary of the State of Kuwait

The National Day of Kuwait, observed on February 25th, commemorates an important moment in the nation's history - the declaration of independence and the coronation of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah as the first Emir of the State of Kuwait. Emerging from humble beginnings as a modest fishing village in the 18th century, Kuwait has burgeoned into a prominent commercial center with a per capita GDP of USD 24,000. The discovery of oil reserves in 1938 catapulted the nation into prosperity, securing its status as custodian of approximately 7% of the world's oil resources.
During a reception in Pretoria, South Africa, Ambassador Salem Rashed Al-Shebli reaffirmed Kuwait's unwavering solidarity with the State of Palestine, while commending South Africa's principled stance at the International Court of Justice in condemning the atrocities inflicted upon the Palestinian people by the State of Israel. Kuwait has been at the forefront of providing immediate humanitarian aid to Palestine, dispatching over 1,500 tons of essential supplies. Ambassador Al-Shebli joined the calls for a ceasefire to halt the cycle of displacement, casualties, and devastation in the region.

 South Africa eyes bolstering financial cooperation with HKSAR

Mojalefa Mogono (center), Consul General of the Republic of South Africa in HKSAR, speaks during a symposium on South Africa’s financial development at the Hong Kong Metropolitan University, in Hong Kong, on March 18, 2024. (photo supplied)

HONG KONG – South Africa intends to enhance its financial cooperation with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and maximize efforts to showcase the various lucrative opportunities awaiting investors, its top envoy in the city said on Monday.
Mojalefa Mogono, Consul General of South Africa in HKSAR, shared the dynamic advantages that his country offers, including a modern and stable investment environment with a fast-growing fintech sector, at a symposium at the Hong Kong Metropolitan University.
With the rise of digital payments in South Africa, the country has made great advances in financial inclusion and the fintech sector, offering people more access to cashless transactions and other financial services while also further stimulating investment, according to Mogono.

The Shifting Paradigm of Democracy


Launched three years ago, the Democracy Summit became a necessary discourse to examine and strengthen democratic processes and governance, which in many instances seem to have become flawed and convoluted. The Summit, currently taking place in Korea, has an ideal opportunity to thoroughly scrutinize the current systems of democratic governance and determine an outcome that will bring renewed value to a system of governance of the people, by the people, for the people.
Change is often difficult to process; it is the challenge of embracing something new and unknown, while letting go of something that is comfortable and familiar. However, it is in these moments where growth and development thrive. Looking back, it's the inflection points, the disruptions, and even catastrophic disasters that act as catalysts for profound change, spurring human advancement.
The current affairs of our world reflect conditions indicating significant and unstoppable shifts. The next-generation communication and information age have led to connectivity that creates awareness of the environment, ecosystem conditions, and an acute focus on the influence of individuals and collectives.

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