Defence Minister of Madagascar, General Leon Jean Richard Rakotonirina, on Friday, surprised the gathering at a community reception hosted onboard four Indian Navy ships in Antsiranana after he sang the popular Bollywood song 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. As per a report by news agency ANI, the Defence Minister sang the Bollywood song in a bid to connect with the Indian community in Madagascar's Antananarivo during the occasion.
The Indian community present at the reception consisted mostly of Gujaratis. He sang the Bollywood song, from Shah Rukh Khan's film, following his speech to the gathering. On the occasion, trainees of the Indian Navy also showcased various dance performances.
On Friday (local time), the Defence Minister of Madagascar visited four Indian naval ships in the northern port city of Antsiranana. During his visit, he held talks in a bid to intensify defence cooperation between the two countries. Indian Navy's First Training Squadron ships - Indian Naval Ships Tir, Sujata and Indian Coast Guard Ship Sarathi - arrives in Madagascar for a three-day visit on October 1, as a part of Indian Navy's Overseas Deployment. A defence cooperation agreement was signed between India and Madagascar in March 2018 during President Ram Nath Kovind's visit to the island nation.
Had the pleasure of co-hosting Hon’ble Defence Minister of #Madagascar for a reception last evening along with Captain Varun Singh, on-board four Indian Naval Ships visiting Antsiranana, Madagascar. pic.twitter.com/uboJa8Ucwz— Abhay K. (@theabhayk) October 4, 2019
Indian Ambassador to Madagascar Abhay Kumar spoke at the occasion, praising Defence Minister Richard Rakotonirina's dynamic leadership in deepening defence ties between India and Madagascar. He also reiterated that PM Modi's vision of Security And Growth for All in Indian Ocean Region (SAGAR) and Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina's plan of Emergence of Madagascar complement each other and the two countries can work together to fulfil the vision.
On the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Madagascar issued a postal stamp with the picture of Mahatma Gandhi. With a notable diaspora of the Indian community, the East African island country has a lot of Gujarati speaking people residing there. The major cities of the country celebrate Indian festivals with full enthusiasm. Madagascar issued a postal stamp on Gandhi in the year 1998 as well.
(With ANI inputs)