FIA makes history as Amb. Jaiswal unfurls tricolor at Times Square

New York: The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA- tristate) created history on August 15 by unfurling the tricolor for the first time ever at the iconic Times Square here to celebrate India’s 74th Independence Day.

 

Hundreds thronged the ‘crossroads of the world’, and chants of “Vande Mataram” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” reverberated as India lovers stood witness to the historic moment. Indian officials,  community leaders, representatives from community  organizations were among those who attended the event.

Consul General of India in New York, Randhir Kumar Jaiswal, unfurled the Indian flag. He was accompanied by his wife Abha Jaiswal, Deputy Consul General Shatrughna Sinha and other staff.

In his address, Amb. Jaiswal highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day message, delivered from New Delhi’s majestic Red Fort, paving the way for building a new India. The celebration of India Day in the US is a symbol of the strong relations between the two countries, he said.

Others who spoke at the flag-hoisting event were grand sponsor Kenny Desai, Deepak Patel of Dunkin Donuts, and Mr. Sethuraman of Incredible India.

FIA’s new Chairman Ankur Vaidya thanked all the sponsors and his team and members of the Board  as well FIA’s senior advisors, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh and Padma Shri H.R. Shah for making the event a grand success. He recognized the support of the Consulate General of India, of  Hon. Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio and his  staff, as well as NYPD  and the Fire Department.

Besides the Times Square celebration, FIA, in continuing with its annual tradition, also had the Empire State Building illuminated in the colors of the Indian flag – orange, white and green – to mark India’s Independence Day.

Established in 1970, FIA is the largest umbrella organization of Indian organizations in the country. Since 1981, the FIA has been organizing its flagship event – the annual India Day Parade, which showcases India’s rich cultural heritage and history.

“I, along with my FIA family, team members and the patriotic community, share the joy and pride of such an historic celebration here in the New York area and back home in India,” FIA President Anil Bansal said. “Traditionally, for the last 40 years, FIA has celebrated India’s Independence Day in the form of the world famous India Day Parade on the streets of the financial capital of the world, New York City. However, this year due to the unprecedented havoc created by the COVID-19 pandemic globally, in the interest of the community and in following the guidelines of the city, we had to cancel the India Day Parade,” he said.

Indian American organizations which participated in the event were Society of Indo American Engineers and Architects (SIAEA), National Association of Asian Indian Christians (NAAIC), Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha of New York, Maharaja Darshan Das Charitable Trust, Telugu Association of North America, Association of Indians in America (AIA), Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America, Telugu Literary and Cultural Association, and the Jackson Heights Merchants Association.

It was for the first time that the tiranga was hoisted at the iconic venue to celebrate India Day.

Consul General Randhir Jaiswal addressed the gathering. On his right is Mrs Abha Jaiswal; FIA’s Chairman Ankur Vaidya is on extreme left.

Image courtesy of (Photos: FIA)

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