The Consulate General of India in New York celebrated 77th Independence Day of India on Tuesday, August 15, 2023 at the Consulate in the presence of members of the community. On the occasion, a Flag Hoisting Ceremony was held in the morning in the Consulate Ball Room. Mr. Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General, unfurled the national flag and the Indian national anthem was sung. Consul General read out the Address of the President of India and conveyed his greetings to the gathering. The event was made even more special by melodious renditions of patriotic songs by artists from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
Amidst the felicitations, heartening congratulatory messages were received from a host of esteemed local elected officials. Of special significance was a video message from Governor Kathy Hochul of New York State, who highlighted the profound contributions of the Indian community that enrich the cultural and economic tapestry of New York. Commemorative proclamations celebrating India’s 76 years of independence were also issued by the Governors of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The Consul General raised the national flag at a special event organized by the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA – NY/NJ/CT) at the iconic Times Square in New York City. The Times Square event featured the grand unveiling of a symbolic replica of the Konark Sun Temple’s wheel, embodying the essence of India’s philosophy and thought. On the occasion, the iconic Empire State Building in New York City was also lit in India’s tricolors.
Noteworthy among this year’s festivities was the flag-raising ceremony at the historic Bowling Green arena, by the Consul General and Mayor Eric Adams of New York City. This landmark event organized by Mr. Sivadasan Nair of the Indian Cultural Association of North America, Inc., was attended by Deputy Mayor of NYC Meera Joshi, Assemblywoman Jennifer Rajkumar, and several senior elected officials of Indian descent in the Mayor’s administration, besides members of the Indian community.
The celebrations of Independence Day in North East US started on August 05th at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with an event organized by Asian Indian Americans of Central Pennsylvania (AIACPA) featuring a unique Robotic competition and also a Parade displaying India’s rich culture.
Among other community-organized events, the prominent ones included an event organized by Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) at Stamford, Connecticut; flag hoisting ceremony at Philadelphia City Hall by Council of Indian Organizations in Greater Philadelphia; flag hoisting ceremony at Hartford, Connecticut by The India Association of Central Connecticut; India day Parade organized by Council of Heritage and Arts of India, at Williamsville, Buffalo, India Day Parade & Flag Hoisting celebrations organized by Federation of Indian Associations (FIA-NE), at the iconic Boston Harbour and other celebrations. The annual Battery Dance Festival showcased India’s classical dance on August 15, 2023 at Battery Park. FIA NY-NJ-CT organized the largest India Day Parade, outside of India, on August 20 on Madison avenue.
Earlier the Indo-American Arts Council organized a three day music festival to commemorate the 77th Independence Day of India featuring prominent artists such as Padma Shri Malini Awasthi and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.
To celebrate India’s independence under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM), the Consulate General of India, New York organized a special event ‘Mitti Ki Khusboo–Mitti Ki Yadein’ on memories of growing up years in India on August 14, 2023. An exhibition on ‘horrors on partition’ was also displayed in the Consulate. Selfie point was set up for the community members to take a selfie with maati diya in hand and upload on merimaatimeradesh.gov.in, and www.yuva.gov.in with #Har Ghar Tiranga #Meri Maati Mera Desh. A standee with a salutation to the brave soldiers was displayed on August 14 and also during the flag hoisting ceremony held at the Consulate on August 15 and later in Times Square.
The celebrations organized around Independence Day, this year, had a distinct flavor of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. Wholehearted participation from members of the diaspora and friends of India transformed the landmark celebrations into a true people’s movement.