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Historic Celebration Of India’s 75th Independence Day At Rhode Island State House In America

Geetha Patil

Historic Celebration of India’s 75th Independence Day at Rhode Island State House in America

Federation of Indian Associations’ (FIA) Chapters of New York City & New England and the Indo-American Community with many other partner organizations of New England celebrated a two-day mega event to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee and the historic event of 75th Independence Day of India on August 14 -15, 2021, at the State House of Rhode Island. Due to COVID restrictions, around two hundred and fifty people attended the program in person, but millions of people watched the livestream of event via zoom worldwide.

The remarkably glittering celebration of India’s Independence Day was observed for the first time in USA with one of the popular Governors, Mr. Daniel McKee, and at the glorious State House of Rhode Island, the capitol of the state of Rhode Island. This building that features the fourth largest structural-stone dome in the world, topped by a gilded statue of "The Independent Man", representing freedom and independence became the part of 75th Independence Day Celebration by displaying Indian tricolors on the entire building. Secondly, both governor and General Treasurer of Rhode Island became the part of the celebrations and honored many Indians for their various services with a plaque and reading out the citation to the audience by them.

In his brief speech Mr. McKee presented his thoughts on the importance of independence and said that how the Rhode Island became the land of hope for American Independence. India shares the values and celebrations here. India’s journey with democracy, truth, non-violence, and tolerance continued to inspire people and nations around the world. He emphasized the need of business connection with India.

Honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, President of BJP J. P. Nadda and Consulate General of IndiaNew York (USA), Randhir Kumar Jaiswal conveyed messages to audiences supporting Indian diaspora’s role in Indo-American relations.  Mr. Abhishek Singh, president of FIA, New England chapter welcomed and thanked everyone to the event. He said that the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ is a proud movement for all of us and uphold the principles of ‘Nation First, Always First' and participation of all brings progress for all. ’The Honorable Governor Mr. Daniel McKee of Rhode Island and General Treasurer of Rhode Island Seth Magaziner graced the occasion as the chief and the special guests. Mr. Daniel McKee hoisted the flags of USA and India, all kids sang with zest the National Anthems. FIA team honored both the guests with a Shawl and a plaque.

The mega gala celebrations started on the night of Saturday, August 14, with the Indian tricolor lighting of the Rhode Island State House Building for the whole night and this lighting will be there for people to enjoy for a week. Mr. Abhishek Singh welcomed and thanked every to the event and said that this Day is significant in our lives as it stands as a reminder of the sacrifices that many freedom fighters made to get independence from British rule and adopting democratic form of government. Special guests of the event, Dr. Bal Ram Singh and Tushar Patel inaugurated the program by pressing the main button of lights. Both guests and FIA members presented their very proud and positive Independence Day messages to the audiences and shouted loudly ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Baharat Mata Ki Jai’ holding India and USA flags in the hands. Next, a spectacular open-air music performance was presented by well-known local singers Dr. Sumita Gokhale and Dr. Prakash Chaogule as the building lights up with the beautiful Indian tricolor. They sang beautiful Patriotic songs that evoked feelings of national fervor in everyone.

On Sunday, August 15, many dignitaries, special invitees, and the performers in their beautiful attires attended the morning ‘meet and greet’ session. A singing of traditional invocation song and presentation of dance to Shree Ganesh followed this.  FIA members read the messages of Mr. Magaziner expressed his positive thoughts on the growing economy and all-round development of India. He said that he and his team are making plans to initiate many partnership projects with India

Governor, Mr. Daniel McKee, Dr. S. P. Kothari, and Dr. Bal Ram Singh very proudly released the books written by Dr. Madhusudhan Jhaveri, and Abhishek Singh. Later on, Dr. S. P Kothari, Professor of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management, Dr. Bal Ram Singh, President, Institute of Advanced Sciences, spoke on the topics: Importance of Building Educational ties between Indian and USA; Significance of Independence and Indian flag and the connection between Boston Tea Party and India’s Independence movement respectively. Mr. Mohan Nannapaneni, the Founder and Chairman of Friends Foundation, Mr. Prashant Palakurthi, CEO of Reflexis Systems, Nikhil Shah, President of Indian Associations of Rhode Island, Robert Lancia, presented their thoughts on the subjects of Prominence of Community Services, Indian Economy and Finances, Role of Team Aid, Role and significance of organization, and Foreign Relationships correspondingly.

Many senior citizens and young volunteers received awards with citation by Governor Mr. Daniel McKee for their contributions in education, public, volunteering, and community services. General Treasurer, Mr. Magaziner also presented several awards to many foundations and individuals for their support to many community activities. This event made the audiences feel honored for being there among such service –oriented people.

Before the second part of cultural program, there was a short refreshment break to relish the Indian and local snacks. Many well-known dance schools presented beautifully choreographed traditional and Bollywood dances to the audience that highlighted the art and culture of India.

Sanjay Gokhale, Vice President of FIA thanked Governor and the General Treasure for actively participating in the event and honoring the people for their services. He also thanked all the audiences and performers for their active participation. He acknowledged all the support given by the sponsors. He appreciated Godavari Restaurant’s catering team from Cumberland, RI for serving delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner to all the people. He thanked all the volunteers for their time and untiring work.

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