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14-01-2020 12:13

Address by the President of the House of Representatives, Mr Demetris Syllouris, on the occasion of a talk on the “Indian Constitution”

It is a great pleasure and an honour to be here with you all today and to have the opportunity to contribute to the talk on the Indian Constitution, a document of unique historical significance.

This year, on the 26th January, as we mark the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Indian Constitution, we are reminded of the basic values and democratic principles highlighted in this important document. India, empowered by its Constitution, remains an admirable example of a country, whose governance respectfully reflects the vast diversity of its ethnicities, cultures, religions and languages, paying due attention both to their rights and duties, as citizens.

In the words of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, a true visionary, instrumental in drafting the Indian Constitution, "Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy”. The meaning of social democracy may have shifted in the last decades, but its core principles remain intact and relevant in today’s highly volatile world. Promoting equality, liberty, fraternity and understanding are necessary ingredients for any vibrant democratic society. India has proved many times, throughout its turbulent history, that when democratic institutions persist on their core values, while being flexible to progress, they may prevail over their limitations and the challenges they face.

Cyprus and India have founded their historical ties on their common lust and struggle for freedom and independence. Our enduring friendship, stemming from and based on mutual respect and solidarity, has flourished into fruitful cooperation on a multitude of levels.The House of Representatives, which resides on Nehru Avenue, adjacent to Mahatma Ghandi’s bust, reaffirms with every opportunity, its commitment to the democratic ideals and values we share and our common vision for peace and prosperity for our citizens.

The fundamental rights featured and protected in India’s Constitution will continue to inspire and motivate us to tackle the multiple global challenges we face today. As Mahatma Gandhi once said: “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems”.

Once again, I express my pleasure for joining you here today and I thank you for the opportunity to address this wonderful and commendable event on India’s Constitution.

Thank you very much!