- City halls and a host of important venues, including the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center, light up to mark the occasion.
Indian Americans came out in large numbers to commemorate India’s 76th Independence Day. Parks, temples, community centers, city halls and iconic venues like the Times Square and the World Trade Center in New York City became a sea of orange, white and green as attendees waved the Indian flags and celebrated their motherland.
In the nation’s capital, Ambassador of India in the U.S., Taranjit Singh Sandhu hosted a flag hoisting ceremony at the embassy. In his address, he noted that “India, as a nascent democracy, had traversed through odds to bring development, peace, security, and prosperity not only to its people but for the world. Today, India is an indispensable part of the solutions to global challenges — be it in healthcare in the form of the pandemic or in food security or critical technology,” he said. Noting that the Indian diaspora is a crucial pillar of the India- U.S. relationship, the ambassador appreciated the positive work that the diaspora has been doing. Leaders from across the United States, including senior members of Senate and House, and dignitaries from the diverse fields of business, arts, science, etc. conveyed their greetings on the momentous occasion. A short cultural program was also presented.
Similar ceremonies were held in all Indian consulates in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and San Francisco.
Several state governors and mayors held flag hosting events to commemorate the occasion and issued proclamations declaring Aug. 15, 2022, as Indian Independence Day.
In New York, the Federation of Indian Associations of the tri-state areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut (FIA NY-NJ-CT) hoisted the Indian flag at Times Square. Hundreds of Indian Americans as well as friends and well-wishers of the community attended the event, including singer Shankar Mahadevan, astronaut Raj Chari, elected officials and the Consul General of India in New York, Randhir Jaiswal.
In neighboring New Jersey, Indian Americans participated in the India Day Parade in Edison. Edison Mayor Sam Joshi, several lawmakers, prominent members of the community, and representatives from various organizations attended the annual event. The 18th annual parade, hosted by the Indian Business Association included marching bands, floats, and live musical performances. Actress Kajal Aggarwal was the special guest, and BJP national spokesperson Dr. Sambit Patra was the grand marshal.
As pictures of the parade began to float on social media, many took objection to the inclusion of a bulldozer in the parade which was decorated with images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath. The bulldozer has become a symbol of Muslim home demolitions in India, IAMC said it its letter.Hindus for Human Rights and the Indian American Muslim Council were among groups who issued letters to Mayor Josh condemning the inclusion symbols of hate.
Boston held its first-ever India Day Parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence on Aug. 13. Led by former Indian cricket player R.P. Singh, several politicians and prominent community members from New England attended the parade. “The first ever India Day Parade in Boston was a historic success,” Abhishek Singh, president of the Federation of Indian Associations-New England, which organized the parade, told the Press Trust of India. “All credit goes to the Indian Americans in the city and the volunteers who worked day and night to make this a grand success.” As “the parade culminated at the Boston Harbor, an airplane carrying a 220-feet India-U.S. flag flew over the city,” PTI said.
Independence Day was celebrated at the Meenakshi Temple in Texas, where a group of enthusiastic children and their parents assembled. Chairman of the temple board, Vinod Kaila addressed the gathering.
On the other side of the country, the Association of Indo Americans (AIA), which embodies over 38 nonprofit and charitable organizations of Indian origin in the San Francisco Bay Area, put up a celebration of India’s 76th Independence Day in Silicon Valley with superstar Kamal Haasan and singer Vidya Vox. Consul General of India in San Francisco Dr. TV Nagendra Prasad also attended the event with a host of elected officials. Vidya Vox enchanted the audience with her beautiful voice and honorable Kamal Haasan expressed pride in being an Indian actor and a politician.