Celebrating 71 year of India’s Independence at 37th, India Day Parade, in New York

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Thousands of people from the Indian diaspora converged in the heart of New York, in their traditional finery, to celebrate India’s 71st Independence Day at one of the largest parades outside India attended by ‘Baahubali’ actors Rana Daggubati and Tamannaah Bhatia.

Rana Daggubati famed actor of Bahubali 2, former Chief of Army Staff, Dalbir Singh Suhag and noted mathematician, Anand Kumar from Bihar and Mr. Andy Bhatia, formerly of King Fisher Airline, acknowledge people’s greetings at India Day parade in New York. Photo:- Jay Mandal/On Assignment

The 37th India Day Parade organised by the Federation of Indian Associations – New York, New Jersey, Connecticut – ran through several streets in Madison Avenue in Manhattan on Sunday and featured tableaux by several Indian-American organisations, marching bands, police contingents and cultural performances by young Indian-American children.

Greeting the crowd, New York city Mayor Bill de Blasio said the Independence Day parade celebrates the “extraordinary contributions” of the Indian-American community to the city.

“This is a day we appreciate what people do for the city regardless of what they look like, regardless of what language they speak, regardless of where they were born. Everyone here contributes to making New York City better and making America stronger. That is what we are celebrating today,” de Blasio said.

The mayor, holding the Indian tricolour, waved to the thousands of people gathered along the parade route.
Daggubati, the Grand Marshal for the parade, said it was a matter of great pride for him to celebrate the Independence Day with a large population of Indian-Americans.

“It gives me a huge sense of pride to be here. The people here are the ambassadors of our country making us proud outside of India,” he said.

Bhatia said, “It is amazing to see Indians celebrating” the country’s culture and heritage.
“India has given me lot of freedom to express myself. It is very humbling to represent India at the parade,” she said.

Padama Shri awardee Sudhir Parikh, a medical doctor and long-time leader of the Indian-American community, said over the years the parade has been a bridge between India and the second and third generation Indian-Americans.

A float by the Indian Consulate in the city focused the rich cultural heritage of India’s northeast states.

India’s Consul-General in New York Ambassador Sandeep Chakravorty waving India’s flag at 37th India Day Parade in New York. August 20, 2017. Photo Courtesy Jay Mandal with Sudeep Chakravorty

Thousands of people from the New York tri-state area came for the day-long celebration, which included special food stalls, cultural extravaganza and about 25 floats by various Indian organisations based in the US such as Air India.

All women crew of Air India, at India Day parade, August 20, 2017, in New York. Photo:- Jay Mandal/On Assignment

People, including young children and seniors, raised patriotic slogans like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Jai Hind’ and carried banners, placards and Indian and American flags as they witnessed the floats and celebrities from the barricaded pavements along the parade route. Indian music and popular Bollywood songs reverberated through the air as people celebrated with a fervour of patriotism.

Several Americans and people belonging to different communities also stopped to watch the parade and enjoy the festivities. Families had travelled from nearby states such as Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts to witness the parade, an annual fixture in the city’s calendar since 1981.

Adam Rizvi

Adam Rizvi

Adam Rizvi has a unique talent for publishing to marketing to managing projects, writers & assigning the task to correspondents. Edits an e-paper & cover the news. An activist, spend time with family & friends. His adorable daughters, Alizah & Anum are his lifelines. He spends his time reading, swimming, hiking, cycling, and watching with them their favorite TV shows, & fixing the Big Old House where he lives. Studied literature & management. Volunteer for non-profits. President of a Travel Agency. Publisher. Circulated the newspapers. Acted & Assisted in directing & production of the award-winning film & TV Serial. Scripted a little. Modeled. Emceed the live shows & judged competitions. A caring sibling and was an obedient son of his late doting parents whom he misses dearly. Adam uses his various positions & experiences in building a strong relationship with all. Appreciates his articles being read, commented, liked, and shared. He can be reached at his personal email: mediaiss@gmail.com.

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