Centre for Vietnam Studies in association with the Embassy of Socialist Republic of Vietnam, organized a ceremony to commemorate the 129th Birth Anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh, the revolutionary leader of Vietnam and a great friend of India. The function was graced by Ambassador of Vietnam to India, Pham Sanh Chau, former Ambassador of India to Vietnam and Ex-Secretary (East) MEA, Govt. of India, Preeti Saran, Lok Sabha Research Fellow, Parliament of India, Dr. Rajaram Panda, Chairman Institute of Social Sciences, George Mathew and Director (Hony) Centre for Vietnam Studies Dr Sonu Trivedi.
The occasion became significant in view of growing India’s engagement with Vietnam over the years. The historical and cultural linkages have been supplemented by the resonance of anti-colonial struggles of the two countries. Ho Chi Minh, as a liberator of Vietnam was not only an inspiration for the people of his country but also he stood synonymous with ‘Revolution’ and fought against all kinds of inequalities and injustices in the society.
Dr. Sonu Trivedi, Director, Centre for Vietnam Studies, in her introductory remarks said that historical linkages and the Buddhist philosophy have tied the nations together. She said that the internal synergies between the two countries have also brought them closer over the years. As an inspiration for Vietnam and the world, Ho Chi Minh stood for liberation against imperialist forces. She equated Ho Chi Minh with Gandhi highlighting the commonalities between the two leaders. Both the leaders tried to win the hearts and mind of people by mass mobilisation and successful organisation of the peasants in the country side.
The Inaugural Address for this occasion was delivered by H. E. Pham Sanh Chau, Ambassador of Socialist Republic of Vietnam. He highlighted the Indo-Vietnam friendship and also mentioned how President Ho Chi Minh fought not just for Vietnam’s national liberation but also for peace and friendship with other nations. He elaborated on the present state of India-Vietnam relations and the high spirits in the backdrop of the recent visit of the Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu to Vietnam to participate in the ‘Vesak Day’ celebrations.
Ambassador Preeti Saran, former Ambassador of India to Vietnam and Ex-Secretary (East) MEA, Govt. of India in her Keynote Address mentioned the enduring foundation laid by the leaders of both the nations and their common desire for peace. She outlined the struggles of the revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, his simplicity and high moral standards to which he adhered. Referring to the Indian Vice President’s visit to Vietnam, she said that these high level visits show the commitments of both countries in building bilateral relations with each other as well as their common desire for peace and harmony.
Dr. Rajaram Panda, Lok Sabha Research Fellow, Parliament of India spoke about Ho Chi Minh’s actions and his relevance in the contemporary world. Ho Chi Minh was also a symbol of simplicity and humility, characteristics that he shared with Mahatma Gandhi. He looked into Ho Chi Minh’s early days of struggles and his rise to power and worldwide fame as a popular revolutionary leader.
This was followed by an open house interaction in which the representatives and Head of other ASEAN Missions were also present. One of the Highlight of the Ceremony was the inauguration of the “Ho Chi Minh Corner” at the Centre for Vietnam Studies. The event received overwhelming response from the audience which saw participation of researchers, students, journalists and diplomatic community.