The Lead

Indian diaspora to hoist biggest tricolour at Times Square on Independence Day

New Delhi: An organisation representing the Indian diaspora in the US has said it will hoist the biggest tricolour at the iconic Times Square in New York on August 15 on the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence Day.

The 6 feet by 10 feet tricolour places on a 25 feet pole will be unfurled by the consul general of India in New York, Randhir Jaiswal, according to the Federation of Indian Association (FIA).

The unfurling of the tricolour at Times Square is part of the day-long celebrations to be organised by FIA on August 15, according to the association.

The first India Day billboard at Times Square will be displayed for 24 hours, the Empire State Building will be lit in the colours of the Indian tricolour and the day will end with a gala cruise on the Hudson River to be attended by top government officials, special guests and members of the Indian American community. An Independence Day message will also be displayed on the largest Jumbotron at Times Square for 24 hours.

FIA’s current president Anil Bansal said the organisation will also hoist the tricolour at the State Capital in Rhode Island. FIA hoisted the tricolour at Times Square on India’s independence day last year as well, the first time the Indian national flag was unfurled at the iconic New York City destination.

The organisation’s chairperson Ankur Vaidya said they want to hoist the tricolour at Times Square every year. “We want to continue this tradition. This year, we are hoisting the biggest tricolour unfurled at Times Square so far,” Vaidya told news agency PTI.

The news agency reported that Indian American sporting icons Abhimanyu Mishra, who at 12 is the youngest Grandmaster in chess history, and 17-year-old Samir Banerjee will be honoured at the event. Banerjee made history by winning the Wimbledon boys’ singles final last month. Mishra and Banerjee, who are from New Jersey, are expected to be present at the event Sunday. Artists Jonita Gandhi and Mickey Singh will also be among the guests.

Vaidya said as India marks 75 years of independence, the FIA is launching a campaign focussed on ‘Unified Diaspora in America’.

“When India turns 75, we should turn the page on the partisan communities. Our goal is a unified community” that will be for the betterment of the next generation and generations to come. “We have to bridge the gap, unify the community. We have to be the force in action,” he said.

 

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