New York: The Association of Indians in America (AIA) National hosted 25th Honor Banquet and the celebration of the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence May 6 at Flushing Meadows Park in the city.
The celebration of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence was part of the Indian Government’s plan for year long events to mark the milestone. The banquet was attended by around 250 distinguished AIA members and guests.
The event was graced by the presence of US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mayor of New York City Eric Adams. Consul General of India at New York Randhir Jaiswal was the chief guest of the banquet. NYS Assemblywoman Jennifer Rajkumar also attended the event.
The program began with invocation and American and Indian national anthems followed by classical dance performance by Maheshwari Jagabattula. Nilima Madan and Gunjan Rastogi were the co-masters of the ceremony.
Senate majority Leader Chuck Schumer shared a few takeaways from his trip to India that impacted America’s national security, and economic future of both countries. “Our partnership has a huge potential for growth in the 21st century,” he said.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams in his remarks said, “I like the Indian culture, tradition, values the education and close family system and I like you to retain and enrich mainstream America. I also want you to fully participate in the political system by getting everybody to register to vote and put forward candidates to have your voice heard.”
Consul General Randhir Jaiswal spoke about further strengthening the relationship and ties between India and the United States.
AIA honored Padma Bhushan Dr Arvind Panagariya and Dr Renu Khator, President of the University of Houston with “Honor Award” for their outstanding achievements.
Padma Bhushan Arvind Panagariya is a Professor of Economics and Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy in the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University since January 2004. From January 2015 to August 2017, he served as the first Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog, Government of India think tank. Panagariya in his keynote speech outlined India’s journey for the upcoming 25 years.
Dr Renu Khator, Chancellor and President of the University of Houston is the first female chancellor in the state of Texas and the first Indian immigrant to lead a comprehensive research university in the U.S.
A plaque was also presented to Mount Sinai Chief Operating Officer (COO), Jonathan Kyriacou.
AIA National President Gobind Munjal thanked AIA team for making the event a huge success. “Indians in America bring distinct vision, values, needs and goals and we and our next generations should fully assimilate and participate in the political system and take an active
role in shaping the future of this great country,” Munjal said.
Banquet Committee Chair, Dr Buddhadev Manvar thanked the guests and attendees, and Chair Board of Trustees Dr Samin Sharma congratulated the Honorees.
The Association of Indians in America (AIA) is the oldest not-for-profit organization of Asian Indians established in 1967.