The Indian diaspora on Wednesday celebrated the 73rd Republic Day amid COVID-19 restrictions, as several world leaders, including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, extended their greetings on the occasion, highlighting their strong friendship with India.
Charge d'affaires of the Indian Embassy in Beijing Dr. Acquino Vimal hoisted the tricolour at the embassy premises and read President Ram Nath Kovind's address which was followed by cultural events.
The ceremony was restricted to only officials of the embassy in view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the Chinese capital.
This is the third time the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Republic Day celebrations in Beijing. It was cancelled in 2020 due to a lockdown announced by China after the coronavirus broke out in Wuhan. In 2021, it was restricted to staff and their families in view of the prevailing COVID-19 infections.
In Singapore, the Indian High Commission virtually celebrated the Republic Day.
Acting High Commissioner Siddhartha Nath read the president's message to the Indian community through social media.
The performance of students from Indian schools in Singapore was also shared through social media.
In his message on Twitter, Australian Prime Minister Morrison extended his greetings, also in Hindi, to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
"Australia and India enjoy a wonderful friendship. While we celebrate #AustraliaDay today, I also extend my very best wishes to my good friend @narendramodi and all Indians on #RepublicDayIndia," Morrison tweeted.
Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, in his message to Modi, expressed confidence that the bilateral relations would continue to grow stronger.
Deuba commended India's remarkable achievements in socio-economic development and impressive advancement in technologies and innovation, according to a statement issued by Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In a separate message, President Bidya Devi Bhandari extended her greetings to President Ram Nath Kovind.
President Bhandari has extended "best wishes for good health and happiness of the President of India as well as for the continued progress and prosperity of the people of India," according to the statement.
In his greetings, Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said, "as the two nations stood firm and resolute in extending profound friendships through the contours of time, I have no doubt that we will continue to write many more stories of success and happiness together."
"On this Republic Day of India, the people of Bhutan and I send our best wishes to the people of India. While you witness the majestic parades in celebration today, please know that the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan rejoice with you in heart and spirit," he said in his message on Twitter.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a Twitter message, wished Prime Minister Modi, the government and the people of India.
"Wishing PM @narendramodi, the Government and People of #India a very happy 73rd Republic Day. May the relationship between our two nations continue to grow to mutually benefit our people so that our nations may prosper," Rajapaksa wrote.
In Washington, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the partnership between India and the United States is rooted in their shared responsibility to uphold democratic values.
"We join India, the world's largest democracy, in honouring Republic Day, the day that marks the adoption of India's Constitution," she told reporters at her daily news conference on Tuesday.
In a tweet, the US State Department's South and Central Asia Bureau said: "Happy 73rd Republic Day India! As millions of Indians celebrate their vibrant Constitution today, we are reminded of our nations' shared democratic values and the strength of the US-India strategic partnership."