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 »  Home  »  Education  »  Joginder Singh Nijjar recipient of an Indian state recognition for streghtening links with Croatia
 »  Home  »  Culture And Arts  »  Joginder Singh Nijjar recipient of an Indian state recognition for streghtening links with Croatia
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Joginder Singh Nijjar recipient of an Indian state recognition for streghtening links with Croatia
By Nenad N. Bach and Darko Žubrinić | Published  01/25/2023 | Education , Culture And Arts , Awards | Unrated
Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2023 for contributions in the field of Art & Culture/Education

Joginder Singh Nijjar receiving the award from the President of the Republic of India Mrs. Droupadi Murmu.

Diploma signed by the President of India Mrs. Droupadi Murmu, with the acompanying gold medal
The gold medal awarded by Mrs. Droupadi Murmu to Mr. Joginder Singh Nijjar
for his achievements in strenghtening cultural and educational links between India and Croatia

Ceremonial joint photo of all the recipients of national awards (24 of them) of the Republic of India, for contributions of Indian diasopora
in establishing important links with other countries. Mr. Joginder Singh Nijjar is standing in the second row, the second from the right.
In the middle, sitting the President of the Republic of India Mrs. Droupadi Murmu.

Joginder Singh Nijjar presented to Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the Minister of Exterior Affairs of the Government of India, with a wonderful gift:
the monograph "Croatian-Indian Links", published in Zagreb in 2022 upon the initiative of H. E. Mr. Raj Kumar Srivastava, ambassador of the Republic of India to Croatia.

Mr. Joginder Singh Nijjar, president of Croatian-Indian Society (Zagreb), on the left,
during the ceremony organized in Indore, capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India.
The event was attended by about five thousand people.

Mr Joginder Singh Nijjar, Croatian citizen of Indian origin, received the presitigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2023 in recognition of his contribution in the field of Art & Culture/Education. Mr. Singh was awarded during the Valedictory Session of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention 2023 on 10 January 2023 by the Honorable President of India Mrs. Droupadi Murmu, also in the presence of Mr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, serving as the Minister of External Affairs of the Governement of India. The ceremony took place in the city of Indore, capital of the state of Mhadya Pradesh in central India.

After receiving Award, Mr Joginder Singh Nijjar paid a courtesy visit to Ambassador Srivastava at the Embassy of India, Zagreb, sharing his wonderful experience of attending the professionally organized PBD conference in the cleanest city of India, Indore. They exchanged ideas for the programs of the Croatia India Society for the year 2022-23, to strengthen India-Croatia links further.

Source: Embassy of the Republic of India to Croatia, Zagreb


  • 9 January commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India in 1915. To mark this day, the tradition of celebrating Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) started in 2003. 1st PBD Convention was organised on 9 January 2003 to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India.
  • Since 2015, under a revised format, PBD Convention has been organised once every 2 years.
  • 16 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conventions have been organised till date. 16th PBD was conducted in a virtual setting with the theme "Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat" in 2021 during the pandemic.
  • The 17th PBD Convention was held from 8 - 10 January 2023 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The theme of the 17th PBD was "Diaspora: Reliable Partners for India's Progress in Amrit Kaal".

Source PBD India

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, gave lunch on 9th January in Indore.
The dinner was organized by Mr Subrahmanyam Jaisankarji, Minister of External Affairs of India.
A detail from the preceding photo:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on the left and Joginder Singh Nijjar on the right.

Dr. Ružica Čičak-Chand about Mr. Joginder Singh Nijjar

... In October 2018, Mr. Joginder Singh Nijjar became president of the Croatian-Indian Society. [Founded in 1994 in Zagreb, with Professor Zvonimir Šeparović as its first president.]

Joginder Singh Nijjar, a Croatian citizen of Indian origin who has actively participated in many of the society's activities since its beginnings in 1994, took to his new function with enthusiasm and vigour. As a gifted organiser with a clear vision, he succeeded in giving the Society new impetus in the fields of trade, culture, and education.

Since the intent of this report is not to provide a detailed overview of the society's work during the past four years, we were forced to make a selection of its activities and events.

On 27 November 2018, the Croatian-Indian Society celebrated the 550th birthday of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nank Dev Ji under the auspices of the Indian embassy in Croatia; its new ambassador, H.E. Arindam Bagchi, gave an introductory speech on the significance of Guru Nanak, while Dr. Ružica Čičak-Chand gave an oral and video presentation on the historical and contemporary importance of Sikhism and Sikh communities in India and internationally.

On 25 April 2019, Dr. Davor Pavuna held a highly engaging lecture entitled "Mother India and Us" in the large auditorium of the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Architecture. Professor Davor Pavuna joined the Society's programme on two more occasions at the Napredak Cultural Centre.

On 9 October 2019, we had the privilege of listening to Dr. Shobhana Radhakrishna, who came from New Delhi to speak on the transformational leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, based on her extensive study of Gandhi's ethical principles, including her personal experience of life and work in some of Gandhi's ashrams.

On 23 November 2019, at the grand hall of the Croatian Journalists' Association in Zagreb, a celebration was held marking the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak, with a presentation and reading of the Holy Book of Sikhs "Guru Granth Sahib" ”for the first time in Croatia, also under the Indian embassy's patronage.

An interesting lecture was given by Dr. Darko Žubrinić on the life and work of distinguished Croatian painter Kristian Kreković on 2 October 2019. Kreković had the opportunity to meet Mahatma Gandhi in Paris in 1931, and to draw a portrait of Gandhi meditating in his atelier in Paris in 1936.

On 12 October 2021, at Napredak, the society celebrated the 150th birthday of Stjepan Radić and Mahatma Gandhi. Academician Mislav Ježić spoke extensively and with expertise on the lives of these two contemporaries, who were both deeply devoted to peace and freedom for their people through non-violent means.

On 26 October 2021, the first event within the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) initiative celebrating 75 years of India's independence was held on the topic "Unity in Diversity: Multiculturalism and Secularism in Indian Society: Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Diversity"; Dr. Vikić-Topić, the host of the Cultural Centre Napredak, gave the opening speech, while the keynote address was held by Ms Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, former president of Croatia. H.E. Mr. Raj K. Srivastava, Director General of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) H.E. Mr. Dinesh K. Patnaik, Dr. Čičak-Chand, and Dr. Marijana Janjić also spoke on various aspects of the aforementioned topic.

Within the programme celebrating 75 years of India's independence and its diversity and speedy development in various domains, the Croatian-Indian Society organized several other events in close cooperation with the Indian Embassy (especially with Indian ambassador Raj Kumar Srivastava).

In November and December 2021/2022, the society organized three lectures/seminars on research projects on predictive agriculture, on environmental factors for a green future (with an emphasis on wireless sensors), and on brilliant Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and his impact on Croatian mathematicians and the field of mathematics in general. Several professors and researchers from the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) spoke on the aforementioned projects: Prof. Nedjeljko Perić, Prof. Vinko Lešić, Prof. Dina Šimunić, Prof. Tomislav Šikić.

A seminar was also held on the cultural and economic significance of lakes and rivers in Croatia and India; on 6 April 2022, the audience at Napredak had the privilege of enjoying a presentation by great alpinist Stipe Božić, who brought to life his journey From Velebit to the Himalayas with his personal experience, photography, and video recordings.

On the occasion of Rabindranath Tagore's 161st birthday, on 3 June 2022, Prof. Mislav Ježić gave an interesting lecture on the Indian Nobel laureate, enriched with a presentation of newspaper articles and photos of Tagore's visit to Zagreb in 1926 and his reception by the public in Zagreb.

On 8 June 2022, a seminar on the development and specifics of tourism in Croatia and India was held involving Croatian expert Mr. Kristijan Staničić and a guest from India with great experience in the field of tourism in India and abroad - Mr. Subash Verma.

In just two years, the Croatian-Indian Society has also published two books: Slon siroče - Indijske pjesme [The Elephant Orphan - Indian Poems] by Drago Štambuk in 2020, with a preface by Mislav Ježić and epilogue by Ivan Andrijanić; and Romain Rolland's Naš Gandhi [Our Gandhi] in 2021, a reprint of Romain Rolland's 1924 book on Gandhi with an extensive introductory essay on Stjepan Radić and Gandhi by Mislav Ježić, and with an epilogue by Joginder Singh Nijjar and Darko Žubrinić.

By all standards, this book is an ambitious, yet highly worthy undertaking of the Croatian-Indian Society, meritorious of due recognition.

In 2021, with the help of Ms Jane Sha, the Croatian-Indian Society also established an on-line presence via Internet page to further enhance contact between Croatia and India.

Source: excerpt from
Dr. Ružica Čičak-Chand: Postscript: The Croatian-Indian Society, published in the miscellany Croatian-Indian Links (ed. Ivan Andrijanić), pp. 249-253

Diaspora diamonds: Joginder Singh Nijjar, president of Croatian-Indian Society

Presenting the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi to Mr. Jitendra Nath Majhi (on the right),
advisor and envoy of H.E. Mr. Arindam Bagchi, the Ambassador of the Republic of India to Croatia.
On the left Mr. Joginder Singh Nijjar, president of the Croatian - Indian Society in Zagreb, and in the middle
Darko Žubrinić, president of the Society of the Friends of the Glagolitic Script, Zagreb.
Sitting behind them is Mr. Robert Bulat, secretary of the Croatian - Indian Society.

Distinguished Croatian painter Kristian Kreković (1901-1985) portrayed Mahatma Gandhi in his atelier in Paris in 1936, while Gandhi was meditating there. The portrait is kept in the Gallery of Kreković (Museu Kreković) in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Two panneaus containing Ghandi's portrait have been presented in Dec 2019 to the Embassy of India in Zagreb and to the Croatian - Indian Society. This was a gift of the Society of the Friends of the Glagolitic Script, and the solemn event took place in the Napredak hall in Zagreb, during the intercofessional Christmas meeting organized by the Croatian - Indian Society, directed by Mr Joginder Singh Nijjar.

The paneau donated to the Croatian - Indian Society, Zagreb, and its president Mr. Joginder Singh Nijjar, on the left.
We express our gratitude to Mr. Edo Kadić, Zagreb, for participating in technical preparation of the paneaus.

Dedication written in French in the middle of the portrait:

A Mahatma Gandhi
apotre de nonviolence
Kristian Kreković
Paris 1936

To Mahatma Gandhi | apostle of nonviolence | Kristian Kreković | Paris 1936.

Nenad Bach with Joginder Singh Nijjar, president of Croatian-Indian Society in Zagreb.

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