BOSTON—About 22,000 people from around the world watch India Day celebrations in Boston as 36 towns and cities across New England hoisted Indian flags on their buildings. The event was organized by India Association of Greater Boston, known as IAGB.
“IAGB created history with flag hoisting in over 35 towns, the first of its kind, first in the US and perhaps elsewhere, outside of India,” IAGB President Sanjay Gowda told INDIA New England News. “It was a moment of pride for all Indian Americans, a huge recognition by the mainstream of this vibrant community and their contributions, and India’s growing influence on the globe.”
Mr. Gowda said that an estimated 22,000 people watched the live program on Youtube and Facebook from across the globe. This is only live program viewers and doesn’t include offline viewers after the program, he added.
“It is a true witness of the cultural melting point of the diverse communities in the US. This new tradition of flag hoisting will need to continue and expand with grassroots level awareness and education of India’s cultural heritage and significance of the celebration of freedom,” said Mr. Gowda. “We as Indian Americans, need to build upon this momentum to involve the community to be active in civic activities and build a sustainable platform for all the diverse groups to come together for all issues matter to the Indian community.”
Some of the key dignitaries who participated or attended virtual India Day celebrations in Boston included Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, US Senator Edward Markey, US Congressman Joe Kennedy, Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka, Indian Minister of Tourism and Culture Prahlad Singh Patel, Consul General of India in New York Randhir Jaiswal, Indian American singer Anuradha Palakruthi and Bollywood playback singer Vijay Prakash.
“We are truly delighted with the support and participation from everyone across the communities in the New England region, and making the grand virtual celebration a truly a community celebration and memorable one,” Mr. Gowda said.
IAGB Vice President Vaishali Gade said that this year’s Independence Day celebration is one of a kind any Indian American has experienced ever here in the United States.
“IAGB hoisting Indian flag in 35+ towns bringing not only Indian American community together but also engaging City/Town officials, educating and encouraging their neighbors to join in and last but not least energizing our youth to join in, it is the start of the movement we want to keep marching on,” said Ms. Gade.
After two-day long flag hoisting ceremonies, evenings ‘Virtual India Day Celebration’ was the cherry on the top, said Ms. Gade, adding that two grand performances from India- Tad Bhartam was a visual treat for the eyes, taking us on the journey to experience India’s rich heritage, culture and literature; and One India Concert truly brought Indian Americans together as one India.
“We are very happy and truly grateful we were able to make it a grand celebration even in this pandemic eclipsed time,” said Ms. Gade. “Our sincere thanks to IAGB members, supporters, our sponsors and our partners.”