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India marks 60 years since independence from Britain

The Indian subcontinent is reverberating with the sound of celebrations as the country's people mark 60 years since independence from Britain. It's a date that marks not only the end of colonialism, but also the beginning of a diplomatic relationship whic

A moment of joy as India marked the day 60 years ago that it gained its freedom from colonial rule. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh followed in the tradition of Jawaharlal Nehru, independent India's first leader, raising the national flag at the place the Union Jack was lowered in 1947. Lavish displays at the Red Fort in New Delhi were watched by representatives from around the world.

Not only India is celebrating in this 60th anniversary of Indian independence. The rest of the world is also sharing in this celebration.

The Indian Embassy in Moscow held a special event to mark the occasion. The festivities drew from the breadth of India's colourful traditions.

Russia, like many other nations, is pushing to strengthen economic ties with the subcontinent in order participate in India's economic boom. Russia has long been the major supplier of India's military hardware and wants to ensure its longstanding arrangement continues.

In January Vladimir Putin reiterated Moscow's commitment to solidifying links with Delhi. He was invited as guest of honour to an impressive military display in the capital to mark Republic Day. In return, Russia has been an important partner, helping India to develop its own identity and emerge as a leading economic power in Asia.

“In many ways the most productive relationship which we have with any big power has been with Russia. For the last five decades there has been an unbroken and stable friendship between our two countries, and this is because India and Russia have shared national interests, geopolitical interests,” Kapil Sabil, Indian ambassador to Russia, noted.

As things stand economic co-operation between the two countries rests almost exclusively on a governmental basis. At least for now, mutual investment in private enterprises remains minimal.

“Despite the Soviet break-up, our relations, at least on the political level, are now developing quite well. We have political and defence co-operation going on between us very well, but there's hardly any business,” Vinay Shukla, the Moscow correspondent of “Press Trust India”, commented.

After 60 years of independence India is finally emerging as a global power. The country represents a huge untapped market. Russia will be trying to ensure its historic ties translate into not just a strategic partnership but an economic one as well.