Hundreds gather for the event; Empire State Building was lit up in the Indian flag’s colors
A six by ten feet Indian tricolor, said to be the biggest ever, was hoisted on a 25-feet high pole at the iconic Times Square in New York to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day.
Hundreds of Indian-Americans and friends of the community participated in the Aug. 15 event organized by the Federation of Indian Associations of the tri-state areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut (FIA).
Times Square’s historic tricolor and other items used during the celebration were shipped to New York from Ahmedabad, India, for FIA by Gracia Marcom, a local advertising agency. The agency supplied flags and other items for FIA New England as well, according to managing partner Rohit Korat.
The ceremony at Times Square began with the playing of the American national anthem. Consul General of India Randhir Jaiswal then hoisted the tricolor followed by the Indian national anthem, according to an FIA release.
Read: ‘India Shayari Project’ to celebrate Indian Independence Day (August 14, 2021)
Jaiswal conveyed his wishes to the Indian community, friends of India and all “those who are deeply connected” to the country. He thanked the Indian-American community and FIA in particular for leading these celebrations.
He also felicitated New Jersey boy Abhimanyu Mishra who is now the youngest Grandmaster in the history of chess. Mishra also received a proclamation from the office of Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams.
FIA Chairman Ankur Vaidya wished everyone a happy, healthy and safe 75th Independence Day.
FIA president Anil Bansal called it a privilege to be living in the US where they have the freedom that they “as Americans can celebrate our history, culture and love for our motherland.”
Besides Jaiswal, those who addressed the gathering included Deputy CGI-New York Shatrughna Sinha and Captain Amandeep Singh Sandhu, the only Indian American in New York police department and first Sikh police captain in the US.
FIA board member Anand Patel representing Dunkin, one of the event sponsors, Jackson Heights representative in New York City Council Daniel Dromm, and district leader from Queens-New York Neeta Jain also spoke.
Jaiswal also unveiled the ‘India at 75 Cricket Cup’ by the ’22 yards court’, a non-profit that promotes cricket in North America.
A special performance was given by the band Dhol Tasha Pathak of Maharashtra Mandal who had come all the way from Michigan to participate in the celebration.
In another first, FIA reserved the biggest jumbotron at the Times Square for display of Independence Day messages and other images related to India for 24 hours.
On Sunday evening the Empire State Building was lit up in the colors of the Indian National Flag.
The celebration continued into the evening with FIA’s annual gala on board a yacht on the Hudson attended by dignitaries, special guests and FIA members.