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Speech by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj at the Khadi-Thagzo...
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Speech by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj at the Khadi-Thagzo Textile Presentation on 16 October, 2019 at the Royal Textile Academy, Thimphu

1893. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. That frigid night on a steam engine train when Mahtama Gandhi was evicted from his first class cabin, two choices remained with him: to solely criticize a system of brutality and oppression, or to rise. To create Satyagraha. And of course, he chose the latter. It is his commitment to Satyagraha which brought India her freedom in 1947.

Khadi. What further embellishes today is that this is themed around India’s signature fabric, especially brought into Bhutan for this event from the Khadi & Village Industries Commission, India. This stands as a mark of respect to Mahatma Gandhi, who had started a nationalist movement SWADESHI for homespun cotton cloth in reaction to foreign imposed fabric sold in the India of pre-1947 at exorbitant rates.

Your Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck;
Your Royal Highnesses;
Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering;
Hon’ble Ministers;
Chairman, Khadi & Village Industries Commission, Vinai Kumar Saxena Ji;
Chairperson, Fashion Design Council of India, Sunil Sethi;
Executive Director Royal Textile Academy, Rinzin Dorji;
Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is with great joy and excitement that I stand here to welcome all of you to a night where our Indian and Bhutanese heritage speak for themselves, where we weave the present into the past, where Khadi intermixes with Bhutanese textile, where two countries celebrate, deepen & refresh a strong and enduring partnership.

Important to emphasize that tonight is not just about a glorious textile presentation, but also the opening of a new frontier of collaboration between our two countries, textiles, that has as an objective to encourage creativity, growth, talent and innovation. Indeed, we are delighted that 4 talented young ladies from Bhutan were recently at India Fashion Week, on invitation from Fashion Design Council of India Chairperson Sunil Sethi. In a few minutes from now, they will lead from the front, on the ramp. We are equally pleased that another talented Bhutanese designer, present in the audience, has visited India on invitation from Chairperson, KVIC, India in the effort to retail Khadi in Bhutan. What I seek to emphasize is that today is not a one-off effort, but a continuation as our friendship accelerates and grows.

Finally and perhaps some would say, the most mouth-watering part, and in tribute again to Gandhi ji, it is our honour to bring pure, nourishing and wholesome SATVIK cuisine, all the way from spiritual Varanasi in India to equally spiritual Bhutan, Bhutan which we all love, of towering trees, of devotion and faith, of kindness and sophistication. My gratitude to Chef Moncrief Aviet of ‘Taj Tashi’, Bhutan and Chef Akshay Kumar of the ‘Taj Ganges’ Varanasi for making this happen.

All of these activities allow for an event in celebration of a man and his ideology which changed the world. What Gandhiji stood for transcends the barriers of time or circumstance.

It is one which celebrates equally an immaculate friendship between two countries.

It is my privilege to pay tribute to Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck. It is only with her support that a celebration of such unique grace and excellence could’ve been created.

Ladies & Gentlemen, tonight we honour our countries through collaboration, our people with compassion and our remarkable friendship through art.

Thank you!
Tashi Delek!

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