FIA Holds Virtual Celebrations of India’s Independence Day
Participants and organizers of the India Independence Day celebrations which had to be changed from an in-person event to a virtual one because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many Indian Americans attended the celebration via Zoom. (photo provided)
India-West Staff Reporter
ARTESIA, Calif. – A grand celebration to mark India’s Independence Day was organized Aug. 16 on a virtual platform by the Federation of Indian Associations along with several other organizations based in Southern California.
The event, though virtual, did not forego the social hour that precedes formal proceedings, with everyone logging on and catching up. A lamp lighting ceremony followed, as well as singing of the U.S. and Indian national anthems along with the hoisting of flags of both nations.
Organizers seen in the Zoom program that was also streamed live on YouTube included Ishwar Deedwania, president of FIA; Ajoy Dube, president of NFIA; Kamini Khare, chairwoman of the Indian Association of Southern California; Malik Banda, Mahesh Goel and Dr. Sukrit Mukherjee, president of the Brahman Samaj of North America-Los Angeles chapter.
The FIA played a video sent in by the Indian government’s Ministry of Culture, highlighting 75 years of freedom. Speeches included those from Teddy Kapur, running for the office of city attorney in 2022, former president of FIA Dr. Krishna, and former president of NFIA Harish Panchal.
The cultural program that followed showcased amateur and professional talent in Southern California. Each focused on a patriotic theme. There were dances to famous songs like “Mere Vatan Ke Logo” and “Vande Mataram.” Also featured were classical dances in Bharatanatyam by Shwerta Sharat as well as her students; Kuchipudi by the Telugu Association of Southern California; and Kathak by the Dhwani Dance Academy. There was also a Gujarati folk dance and Bollywood music by Sabri Girish and Seema Maethel. The program concluded with a specially choreographed dance to the tunes of India’s national anthem by students of Debapriya Bhattacharya.