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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

From Indonesia With Love

Editorial: Our friend India

The Jakarta Post | Tue, 01/26/2010 10:14 AM | Opinion

Today we share the joy of the Indian people as they celebrate their 60th National Day, remembering the historic moment when India adopted a new Constitution as a republic on Jan. 26, 1950. Different from Indonesia, which adopted its Constitution as a republic a day after our founding fathers declared Indonesia’s independence on Aug. 17, 1945, India endorsed its Constitution nearly three years after it declared its sovereignty from the British colonists on Aug. 15, 1947.

We congratulate the Indian people whose Constitution has led the country to become the world’s largest democracy and one of the major pillars of political and security stability on the continent. Indonesia has followed India’s example and has now become the world’s third-largest democracy after India and the United States. It is not just in democracy where we have learned from India; the subcontinent’s culture also has a very strong influence on Indonesia. We also need to learn from them how to develop our education. Who can deny the high quality of India’s education system?

It is a matter of eternal record that India played a major role in our struggle for independence. The deep friendship between leaders of the two countries flourished long before both countries could enjoy their independence. Indian leader Jawaharlal Nehru quickly offered his help to our founding fathers Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta.

During the Cold War, Indonesia and India became anchors of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and in 1955 the two countries were among key players in organizing the Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung, West Java. Bilateral relations between the two countries are also still rapidly growing.

India and China are fast becoming regional — even global — economic, political and military superpowers. A strong India helps ensure the safety and security of the Indian Ocean. India is also an important factor to counter the domination of China on the continent.

Again, we congratulate India on this very special day. Mutually beneficial cooperation between Indonesia and India will be helpful to accelerate the development of the two countries and the Asia.

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