NewsIndiaTimes - page 15

Cover Story
– that’s all you need to know
Bya StaffWriter
week before a sea of
humanity was to
descend Aug 21 on
Madison Avenue in
Manhattan, NewYork,
to watch celebrity-studded tradi-
tional parade, marking India’s
70th Independence Day, celebra-
tions had begun in earnest all
over the United States, including
in New Jersey, Illinois, California,
Connecticut and some small
town and cities across the Tri-
state.
In NewYork, the Indian
Tricolor that was hoisted in front
of the consulate by Consul
General Riva Ganguly Das on the
morning of Aug. 15, became a
symbol of patriotic pride for all
those present. The ceremonies
later in the day spread to places
like the United Nations as well as
the Nasdaq Stock Exchange
where events marking the day
took place.
After ceremonially unfurling
the Tricolor at the consulate in
the presence of community
members and officials, Minister
of State for External Affairs M. J.
Akbar briefly addressed the gath-
ering.
“Freedom is engrained in our
Constitution. Nobody can take
away our freedom,” Akbar, a for-
mer journalist, said. “Our mis-
sion for the next 70 years is very
clear. It is to turn India and put it
on the high table of prosperity
not just for some but prosperity
for all. That is true nationalism,”
he said. A group of some 80-odd
people, who gathered outside the
consulate, cheered.
Akbar later went to Nasdaq
Stock Exchange to ring the clos-
ing bell, sending a symbolic mes-
sage toWall Street and the world
of business and finance about
India’s steady strides towards
development and prosperity.
Akbar also used the occasion
to criticize countries that use the
“façade of human rights” to
sponsor “barbaric terrorism”. He
did not, however, name any par-
ticular country although his mes-
sage was loud and clear. India, he
said, represents the very essence
of human rights, noting that the
Indian Constitution, created
under the “inspiration” of
Mahatma Gandhi and those who
have made the ultimate sacrifice
for freedom, represents a “tem-
plate” of modernity, a template
for the future and for the whole
world. People nodded their
heads in obvious agreement.
Among those present at the
event included New Jersey
Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, and
some community elders.
Ganguly Das read out the
Independence Day message
from President Pranab
Mukherjee in which he had
touched on a number of key
issues influencing the fate of
India, including collective con-
cerns of securing territorial
integrity.
Akbar later went to the United
Nations to open an exhibition of
photographs of M.S.
Subbulakshmi, the legendary
Indian vocalist whose birth cen-
tenary was celebrated at the
U.N., coinciding with India’s
Independence Day. The world
body also released a stamp com-
memorating Subbulakshmi, the
first ever musician from India to
perform at the U.N. in October
1966. Later, music maestro A. R.
Rahman paid a musical tribute
to Subbulakshmi who died in
2004.
Continued on page 16
A
The Indian National Flag was hoisted in front of the Indian Consulate In New York by
Consul General Riva Ganguly Das on the morning of Aug. 15 to mark the country’s
70th Independence Day. Photo above, Ganguly Das addresses the gathering. Photo
left, Minster of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar speaking before the crowd.
Below, Akbar, along with Ganguly Das and members of the community in front of
Nasdaq where Akbar rang the closing bell Aug. 15. Dr. Sudhir Parikh, publisher of
Desi Talk, and Padma Shri award winner, is on the right of Akbar.
Bottom, Dr. Parikh, Minister Akbar, Consul General Ganguly Das and
AAPI president Dr. Ajay Lodha outside Nasdaq.
Peter Ferreira
70th I-Day CelebratedWith Verve Across America
News India Times August 26, 2016
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