Incredible India showcased at the 38th India Day Parade in Manhattan

Floats and marches by religious organizations and their call for love and harmony were the highlight of the 38th annual India Day Parade on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, New York, celebrating the 72nd anniversary of India's independence, August 19.

It was an impressive show by the Federation of Indian Associations, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut (FIA-NY, NJ, CT) with a sea of humanity marching with Indian flags and chanting Bharat Mata ki jai. It seemed more people participated in the parade than last year.

A large number of people including mainstream Americans gathered on both sides of Madison Avenue from 38th Street to 25th Street to watch the colorful parade. It was a show of strength and a salute to the diverse culture of India.
Participation from different religious groups was noteworthy this year. Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Muslim (Ahmadiyya) and Christian groups marched in the parade with their banners showcasing the inclusive culture of India.

The many marching bands and dancing on the street by women captivated the people. Jallosh Dhol Taasha, with colorful dress, drum beating and dances stole the hearts. Swami Bapa Pipe Band with colorful dress too was impressive. Several other bands too added sound to the festivities
Actor and politician Kamal Hassan was the Grand Marshal of the parade. His actress daughter Shruti Haasan, actor Anupam Kher, and legendary cricketer Vivian Richards were the Guests of Honor. Anupam Kher walked with the people.
For the first time Indian origin people from Caribbean came out with an impressive float.

The theme of the parade was 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - the world is one family.'
Srujal Parikh, president of the FIA, Consul General Sandeep Chakravarthy and others led the parade and greeted the people.

Kamal Hassan congratulated the people for organizing a beautiful parade with huge participation.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who helped the community to get a Diwali stamp announced that she would introduce a bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Mahathma Gandhi, the highest civilian award in the US.

A group of young men and women marched with a banner asking the Congress to act on the Green Card backlog. They carried billboards pointing out the delay in getting a green cards and problems faced by the H-1B visa holders. They also demanded to continue the policy of allowing the H-4 spouses to work leagally.
As in earlier years, the Indian Consulate, State Bank of India and Air India brought out impressive floats with large number of people marching under their banners. American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) TV Asia, Parikh Worldwide Media, Pyar.com, India.com, Dunkin Donut, and The New York Daily News were among the three dozen floats.

As usual, the Brahma Kumaries, dressed in white, marched in large numbers carrying bill boards advising peace and respect for all. The Jains of America and several Hindu groups including Ahimsa Foundation marched with billboards advocating peace and love.

The parade was led by the New York Police Department followed by the Fire Department which joined the parade with fire trucks including a 1951 Mack and an ambulance with several members of New York's bravest marching.

Police officers belonging to the Desi Society, whose members include the people of south Asian origin and Caribbean, marched in sizable numbers.

The Overseas Friends of BJP marched in the parade while the Indian Overseas Congress too was there.

Sunderlal Gandhi came dressed as Mahatma Gandhi for the tenth year. The 85 year old had met Gandhiji twice and became a life long Gandhian. A retired officer in the Central Government, he was surrounded by many for taking photos. He said he came dressed as Gandhi to create awareness about Gandhi.

The cultural show at the Madison Square Garden after the parade was attended by fewer people than earlier years. Fearing rain, many left as soon as the parade ended, it seemed.

The highlight of the cultural show was the performance of singer Padma Sri Kailash Kher, who enthralled the audience with popular songs.




























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