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IAGB Proudly Unfurls Indian Tricolor In 35+ Towns And Held Grand Virtual India Day 2020 Celebration

Nagendra Rao

In the early morning of the 14th and 15th of August in several North East States of the US the New England region, a team of Indian volunteers spread out across 35 towns. They met in planned synchronism with town officials, Mayors, Town Managers and in an all-time first, the Indian tricolor was proudly hoisted, fluttering magnificently against the blue sky alongside the US flag. Many US town officials read out official proclamations declaring 15th August as India Day. It was an unparalleled, massive decentralized celebration of the Indian diaspora, spreading the story of India’s independence across local towns and communities and affirming their home country’s pride and honor in the United States. It was a first of its kind in the US and perhaps anywhere outside of India.

This celebration was a unique initiative from the India Association of Greater Boston, (IAGB), and took months of planning and hard work under the leadership of their leader Sanjay Gowda and coordinated by Tanu Basu and Jeyanthi Ghatraju. IAGB accomplished this as a part of its India Day Grand Celebrations which culminated in this decentralized Independence Day celebrations. Faced by the COVID pandemic, IAGB was unable to plan major gatherings like the previous years in central Boston. The team took up this challenge as a unique opportunity and contacted towns across New England months in advance, eliciting permissions and documentation to conduct this event. Logistics of flagpole availability and seeking permission during online meetings was another challenge. Finally, it was worth the effort considering the local town officials and communities got to earn about India and the story of its independence.

Further, in the evening on the Independence Day, a grand virtual program was held on YouTube where there were two major performances and also, felicitations by US and Indian dignitaries. The who’s who in New England came together online and felicitated the Indian community on India Day and encouraged the American-Indian communities to work together on important issues and participate in governance, and build the bonds between India and America even stronger. The highlight of the evening were two performances, a wonderful dance production called Tad Bharatam, That! is India was presented by Abhinava Dance Company and choreographed by the famous dance do Nirupama and Rajendra and, a One India Concert by the celebrity singer Vijay Prakash of “Jai Ho” fame. This concert was presented by the Nightingale of New England, Anuradha Palakurthi who sang with Vijay Prakash. There were 17 songs in 10 different languages showcasing the diversity and rich culture of India.

The Grand Virtual India Day 2020 celebration was watched live by 22000 on YouTube and Facebook, while Flag hoisting live streaming logged over 40,000 views.

The US officials who were present at the virtual event from Massachusetts were Governor Charlie Baker, US Senator Edward Markey,  Senate President Karen E. Spilka and Congressman Joe Kennedy. There was a message from the Indian Minister of Culture and Tourism GOI - Prahlad Singh Patel. The Consul General of India in New York, Sh. Randhir Jaiswal spoke on the occasion, greeted the Indian American community and praised the efforts on IAGB in bringing the community together with useful events in such trying times.

IAGB was supported by 25+ regional Indian organizations in this effort.

Founded in 1962 as a socio-cultural organization, IAGB has played an important role in bringing the area’s Indian communities together. IAGB is governed by an Executive Committee consisting of professionals, who speak different languages, come from different backgrounds, and are a microcosm of the unity-in- diversity that is India. IAGB thrives because of the dedication and hard work of its volunteer officers and directors and the continued enthusiastic support from the Greater Boston communities

IAGB strives to foster a strong Indian-American social, cultural and community presence in New England. This was amply demonstrated in this years’ India Day 2020 celebrations. It looks forward to continuing to work in the spirit of its mission for years to come.


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