Celebration of the Republic Day
Place: Embassy of India, Belgrade
Date: Wednesday, 26 January 2022
Embassy of India, Belgrade celebrated 73rd Republic Day today at the Chancery. Ambassador unfurled the National Flag followed by singing of National Anthem. He also greeted the Indian diaspora, friends of India and read the President’s Address to the nation. He emphasized on the strengthening of historic bonds between India and Serbia. Indian workers from Modular Construction Company were present on this occasion. Ambassador facilitated Dr. Momir Nikic, Prof. Dr. Aleksandar Petrović and Ms. Monika Maširević with Letter of Appreciation in recognition of their immense contribution in spreading knowledge on Indian literature, culture and history in Serbia.
Congratulations of Mrs. Monika Maširević on the occasion of the Republic Day of India
Your Excellency, dear friends from the Embassy of India, dear Indians,
I would like to use this opportunity to greet you on the occasion of the Republic Day, which is from the 26th January, 1950 a significant date in the history of independent India.
Rajiv Gandhi, the youngest Prime Minister in the history of India had his vision known as “Dream for India”: “Let us build an India proud of her independence; strong, self–reliant in agriculture, industry, and front–desk technology…”
Rajiv’s dream may be a dream of every citizen of India to contribute to a better future and the prosperity of the country with his deeds.
While listening to the national song “Vande Maratam” and watching the tirangaa with Ashoka Chakra fluttering over the free sky of India, I see the beauty of the Indian nation in the move of a dancer, the blossoming of a lotus, pulling the strings of a sitar, lifting a kite or lapping the drops of Mother Ganges.
Let everyone try following his dream for the betterment of his nation and the entire mankind following the principles of democracy: justice, freedom, equality and brotherhood the Indian Constitution offers.
I would like to finish my greeting by the quote of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi Ji, who sends us the following message: “As long as you carry a dream in your heart, you will never lose the meaning of life”.
I send you my congratulations of Republic Day.
Letter of Appreciation
Ms. Monika Maširević is an Indologist who has authored two travelogues of India namely “I will survive: The adventures from a pilgrimage in India” and “A journey to Rajasthan”. She has a keen interest in Indian culture, architecture, literature,music and religion since childhood. A frequent visitor to India and one of the initiators of Diwali celebrations in Novi Sad Serbia, she regularly organizes Indian Cultural Evenings in Serbia.
Her immense contribution in spreading knowledge on Indian literature, culture and history through various platforms in Serbia is therefore, deeply appreciated.
In recognition of her work the Embassy of India in Belgrade has great pleasure in presenting this Letter of Appreciation to her on this 26th Day of January in the Year 2022.
The Ambassador Extraordinary
Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to the Republic of Serbia
High–Level Commemorative Meeting to mark the 60th anniversary of the First Conference of Non–Aligned Countries
Place: Embassy of India, Belgrade
Date: Wednesday, 13 October 2021
A tribute speech in honour of Mrs. Meenakshi Lekhi, the Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture of India
While travelling around India, I have realized that I don’t necessarily have to choose a human being for an object of my love because one can equally love a country with all heart and soul, just the way I love India now. And, to that extent, too. India is the country I constantly keep returning to. That is the way I prove my love and loyalty.
For me, India is not just a geographical map, or a country with a billion and 350 million inhabitants. It is much more than that. India is a spiritual phenomenon, and for me personally, as a spiritual seeker, it is a signpost. It is my other homeland and I feel its beauty through the verses of Vande Mataram.
India is a country of inexhaustible culture, a cradle of ancient civilization, the country of avatar, Vedas, epic poems and Bhagavad Gita; a country of nonviolence and a country of an immense spiritual tradition. As such, it has deserved my respect, and it has become an eternal inspiration for research, and that is the reason why I will always come back to it.
My affair with India has started in my youth, in the process of developing self–knowledge and my first pilgrimage. I have inhaled India for the first time by The River Ganges. So far, I have visited India 8 times, and have travelled through 14 Indian states. I have visited numerous sacred places, and major cities like Varanasi, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Vrindavan, Pushkar, Shravanabelagola, Ranakpur, The Hampi archaeological site… Rajasthan has seduced me with its colours, people, palaces, turbans… and I’m returning to it because I feel it as my own home.
I only have the best memories from India. The Indians have always perceived me as an unusual tourist, and I was often invited to Indian homes for tea and chapati, while the hotels were thanking me for being their guests. Whenever I needed help, I always got it. I have even visited some nomadic tribes, and I have visited many rural places. I have been socializing with the most common people, but I was also a guest of famous doctors and university professors. There is no other country in the world where people are as cordial as they are in India. Modesty, piousness and tranquillity are the virtues that adorn every Indian.
I have published my impressions from the journeys in India in two travel books: I Will Survive: the Adventures from a Pilgrimage in India, and A Journey to Rajasthan. In both books I have written about the places I have visited, about the historic figures, ancient temples and customs. I have written using simple and easily–understandable language, so that everyone could easily understand certain Indian notions. I have managed to attract a large interest of the Serbian audience because my lectures are always well attended, and there are waiting lists for my book in the libraries. Even those without previous knowledge about India are attending my lectures, and almost all of them wanted to travel to India and see what I have already seen. There was a reader who had read only half of my book. Then he bought a plane ticket, and went to India thanks to my book. The readers are often contacting me by email, and they are asking about the ways they could travel to India and are asking for advice on what to visit.
During one of my lectures, I asked the audience: How many of you would have travelled with me to Rajasthan and visited all the places you have seen on slides? Around 2/3 of them have raised their hands as an answer. Even now, I have a considerable number of candidates who are waiting for November, the 15th, and reopening of the borders for tourists. Many of the readers could soon be my future travellers to India. My books are an invitation for a journey and a magical encounter with INCREDIBLE INDIA to all the Serbs.
So far, I have been travelling to India alone, and as a single female traveller, I do not have any fear. India is a safe country for all the visitors. I wish that all the tourists could feel as loved and as welcome in my Serbia, as I do feel in India.