Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Interior and Kingdom Affairs Ms Kajsa Ollongren was the Chief Guest at the diplomatic reception hosted by Ambassador of India to the Netherlands Mr Venu Rajamony to mark the 69th Republic Day of India on January 26th . This was the first time in several decades that a Minister of the Dutch Government attended India’s Republic Day reception. The Reception had many other firsts to its credit. It was hosted at the historic venue of Nieuwe Kerk, on the Dam Square of Amsterdam which is the official venue for the Dutch Royal investiture ceremonies and the Royal weddings. The Venue was lit up in tricolour marking the first time ever that a prominent monument of the Netherlands was decked up in the Indian colors. Moreover, guests had opportunity to view first hand a bicycle and Charkha used by Mahatma Gandhi, handwritten corrections of a speech by Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela’s Robben Island Bible displayed at the Reception as part of an exhibition – “We have a dream- Gandhi, King and Mandela” currently on display at De Nieuwe Kerk. Other Dutch dignitaries who attended the Reception included Mr. Jan van Zanen, Mayor of the city of Utrecht, former Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, Former Health Minister Edith Schippers, Mr Rabin Baldersingh, Deputy Mayor of The Hague, Judge Dalveer Bhandari of the International Court of Justice, Ambassadors of various countries stationed in The Hague, Senior officials of the Dutch Government and prominent members of the Indian community.
April 6, 2018