Flag hoisting, anti-graft parades mark Independence Day in US

August 16th, 2011 - 12:07 am ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil Washington, Aug 15 (IANS) Indians across America celebrated India’s 65th Independence Day with flag hoisting ceremonies at Indian missions and India day parades in seven major cities with a call against corruption in their homeland.

At the Indian embassy in Washington, the Deputy Chief of Mission Arun Kumar Singh hoisted the Indian tricolour Monday in front of the embassy overlooking a statue of Mahatma Gandhi.

After the singing of the national anthem, the gathered Indian community waving small Indian flags moved inside the embassy where Singh read out President Pratibha Patil’s message to the nation. Patriotic songs were sung in Bengali and Hindi followed by a feast of pan-Indian snacks.

Similar functions were held at the Indian consulates in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston and the Indian mission at the UN.

Earlier, India Day parades were held Sunday in Washington DC, New Jersey, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco by India Against Corruption (IAC) and People for Loksatta (PFL), which had initiated Dandi march-II, a 240 mile walk in support of social activist Anna Hazare in March.

At the biggest event in New Jersey, some 180 people wearing white T-shirts, Gandhi caps and waving the Indian national flags walked along Oak Tree Road in pouring rain shouting slogans like “We Want Jan Lokpal”, “I Am Anna”, “Anna We Are With You” and “Anna Hazare - Desh Tere Saath Hai!, Videsh Tere Saath Hai!!”.

Many volunteers carried placards saying - “I am Anna” and “It is not one Anna. We are Thousands” in English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi and a few other Indian languages.

Young and old participants from all walks of life, technologists, engineers, business men, doctors, students, children and a few pregnant women too joined the celebrations chanting Vande Mataram and Jai Hind and singing “Hum Honge Kamyaab” (We shall overcome). The march ended with the singing of India’s national anthem.

In Houston NRIs and volunteers of several organisations like IAC, PFL, 5th Pillar and Bharat Swabhiman joined a gathering near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue.

Similar community functions were organised in Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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