This is the second consecutive year when FIA organized the Independence Day celebrations at the iconic Times Square in New York; for the first time, I-Day messages were on display at the biggest jumbotron reserved by FIA for full 24 hours
The Times Square was a sight to behold on Sunday morning. Every time the crowd shouted out ‘Jai’ to complete the slogan “Bharat Mata ki…” or “Mataram” after “Vande”, the Sunday morning air reverberated with indescribable energy. The towering Tricolor bore testimony to the spirit that had brought Indians together to celebrate a momentous occasion.
This occasion was the 75th Independence Day of India. The venue was the iconic Times Square. Befitting the grandeur of the occasion, the Federation of Indian Associations had organized the unfurling of the biggest Tricolor at the Times Square. The flag, 6ft x 10 ft, was hoisted on a 25-feet pole. This is only the second time that the Tricolor was unfurled at the busy spot. Last year, FIA had organized flag-hoisting at Times Square for the first time.
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 US where they have the freedom that they “as Americans can celebrate our history, culture and love for our motherland.” He thanked the New York City and its police for allowing them to enjoy the day safely.
The American anthem was played first, after which Consul General of India-New York Shri Randhir Jaiswal unfurled the Indian flag. This was followed by the playing of the national anthem “Today is a historic day in India’s onward march as a nation… a day to celebrate our achievements, our success, our freedom struggle, all the sacrifices done by the leaders, by the Indian nation and also to chart out our future course of action,” he said while addressing the gathering “Today is also the day to celebrate our vibrant democracy and progress and prosperity. This is one special aspect that connects us deeply with this beautiful country of the United States of America… the world’s largest democracy India and the world’s oldest democracy, the US,” Jaiswal added. He thanked the FIA and all members of the Indian-American community for leading the celebrations related to India.
On the occasion, Jaiswal felicitated Abhimanyu Mishra, the youngest Grandmaster in the history of chess. Abhimanyu and FIA president Anil Bansal received proclamations from the office of Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams Jaiswal gifted a token of appreciation to Captain Amanjeet Sandhu, who is the only Indian-American executive officer in the New York Police Department (NYPD). He has been in NYPD for 19 years. He is also the first Sikh captain in the nation.
Cricket Cup unveiled
The ‘India @75 Cricket Cup’ tournament, which commemorates the 75th year of India’s Independence Day, will be held next weekend in Westchester County. On Sunday, CGI Jaiswal unveiled the trophy that will be presented to the winners of the tournament which has been organized by 22 Yards Sports that promotes cricket in North America. Deputy Counsel General of India-NY Shatrughna Sinha, Jackson Heights representative in New York City Council Daniel Dromm as well as and district leader from Queens-New York Neeta Jain, too, graced the event with their presence and addressed the gathering.
FIA member Anand Patel, who also represents one of FIA’s sponsors and well-wishers, thanked the company and the CEO for their generous contributions to the Federation and supporting it in its community-oriented activities. The morning concluded with a power-packed performance by the band Dhol Tasha Pathak of Maharashtra Mandal who had come all the way from Michigan to participate in the celebration.