Vastavam web: Thousands of people from the Indian diaspora converged in the heart of New York in their traditional finery to celebrate India’s 71st Independence Day at one of the largest parades outside India attended by ‘Baahubali’ actors Rana Daggubati and Tamannaah Bhatia.The 37th India Day Parade organised by the Federation of Indian Associations – New York, New Jersey, Connecticut – ran through several streets in Madison Avenue in Manhattan yesterday and featured tableaux by several Indian-American organisations, marching bands, police contingents and cultural performances by young Indian-American children.Greeting the crowd, New York city Mayor Bill de Blasio said the Independence Day parade celebrates the “extraordinary contributions” of the Indian-American community to the city.
The mayor, holding the Indian tricolour, waved to the thousands of people gathered along the parade route.Daggubati, the Grand Marshal for the parade, said it was a matter of great pride for him to celebrate the Independence Day with a large population of Indian-Americans.”It gives me a huge sense of pride to be here. The people here are the ambassadors of our country making us proud outside of India,” he said.Bhatia said, “It is amazing to see Indians celebrating” the country’s culture and heritage.
A float by the Indian Consulate in the city focused the rich cultural heritage of India’s northeast states.Thousands of people from the New York tri-state area came for the day-long celebration, which included special food stalls, cultural extravaganza and about 25 floats by various Indian organisations based in the US such as Air India.People, including young children and seniors, raised patriotic slogans like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Jai Hind’ and carried banners, placards and Indian and American flags as they witnessed the floats and celebrities from the barricaded pavements along the parade route. Indian music and popular Bollywood songs reverberated through the air as people celebrated with a fervour of patriotism.On India’s Independence Day on August 15, the iconic Empire State Building was lit up in the Indian try-colour.
Commemorating the Day, India’s Consul-General here Ambassador Sandeep Chakravorty had rung the opening bell at the NASDAQ stock market in Times Square. Flag-hoisting ceremonies and commemorative events were held at the Indian Consulate as well as at India’s Permanent Mission to the UN