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Indian and American democracy President Clinton's Message on50th Anniversary of India's Independence

August 15, 1997

Tonight we mark the 50th anniversary of one of the pivotal events of the 20th century; the independence of a democratic India. At midnight on this day in 1947, the colonial era ended and a new birth of freedom came to one of the world's great peoples. It was a moment of joy for India - and for men and women everywhere inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's vision and by India's quest for independence. It was a moment, as Prime Minister Nehru, said, "when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance." In the decades since, the world's largest democracy has grown into one of its most resilient and vibrant. India has preserved for one-fifth of humanity that most precious gift: freedom. It has forged a strong, modern state for an ancient and rich civilization, and built a thriving economy. And India has become an influential voice in the world community an example to peoples everywhere striving for human dignity and the right to determine their own future. A free and independent India has given America many gifts - above all the 1 million sons and daughters who have come to our nation and enriched it beyond any measure. And our two nations have come together frequently in common cause. Now, in a world that is growing closer with every passing day, we must redouble our efforts to strengthen peace, stability and democracy in South Asia and around the world…to bring the benefits of the global economy to all our people…to reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction. For India and the United States, Nehru's words from 50 years ago ring true today. He said, "The achievement we celebrate…is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us." When the First Lady visited India two years ago, she was struck by the warmth of her reception and the remarkable diversity and dynamism of India's people. I very much hope to visit India during this term of office. For today, let me simply say, on behalf of the American people: happy Independence Day, India. May your next 50 years be even brighter than the half century of freedom we celebrate tonight

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Q: In 1997 on the occasion of 50th anniversary of Indian independence the us senate pass the resolution designating it as a celebration of which day?
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