The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka put together an imaginatively curated and impressively executed show to celebrate the 77th.Anniversary of India’s independence on Tuesday.

Dance performances choreographed by Sri Lankan Guru Vasuki Jagadeeswaran and performed by the students of Swami Vivekananda Indian Cultural Centre in Colombo were based on songs associated with India’s freedom struggle. Among those featured were Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn Vaishnav jan to tene kahiye by Narsi Bhagat, Vande Mataram by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and the theme song of Netaji Subhas Bose’s Indian National Army.

What was innovative in the choreography was the weaving together of Indian and Sri Lankan dance forms – Bharatnatyam and Kathak from India and the Kandyan and the Low Country styles from Sri Lanka. And when finally, a dancer dressed as Mother India and carrying the national tricolour walked onto the stage to the strains’ of Allama Iqbal’s Sare Jahan Se Achcha, the audience spontaneously went into a full-throated “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” (Victory to Mother India).

As per a long and healthy tradition, the Sri Lankan naval band was in attendance entertaining the audience with their tuneful rendering of popular Indian numbers.


The video on India-Sri Lanka relations was in refreshing contrast to the run-of-the-mill presentations that would make the audience yawn. This one captured the entire range of the relationship, not with dry statistics, but with appropriate and snappy video clips from the speeches of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Indian Foreign Minister S.Jaishankar.

Thar the relationship stands for mutual benefit and that India is a reliable friend were projected pithily and effectively.

The rendering of the Indian National Anthem Jana Gana Mana by a 100-piece Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ricky Kej caught the large audience by surprise. The pièce de résistance was indeed majestic and uplifting.

Independence Day was celebrated in different parts of Sri Lanka. The main event in Colombo was held at ‘India House’, the official residence of the High Commissioner. High Commissioner Gopal Baglay hoisted India’s National Flag and inspected the Guard of Honour. He also read excerpts of the address by the President of India Droupadi  Murmu on the eve of Independence Day.

For the first time, the High Commissioner administered the Panch Pran pledge, by which those present resolved to shed the slavish mentality, uphold the culture of India, commit themselves to nation-building and make India a developed nation by 2047.

The High Commissioner and officers of the High Commission of India paid homage at the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) Memorial to honour Indian soldiers of the IPKF who made the supreme sacrifice defending peace and unity of Sri Lanka.

Special events were organized by the Assistant High Commission in Kandy, Consulate General in Jaffna and Consulate General in Hambantota as well on the momentous occasion.

This year’s Independence Day celebration is a culmination of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ initiative, a global campaign to commemorate 75 years of a progressive and self-reliant India.

Since 2022, India has embarked on a journey of 25 years of India’s transformative growth – ‘Amrit Kaal’ – to make India a developed nation by 2047.

Members of the Indian community enthusiastically celebrated this Independence Day by participating in the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign and recounting the stories of growing up in India and paying tributes to the motherland under the ‘Meri Maati Mera Desh’ campaign.