PARSIPPANY — The Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills and Indian-American of Morris County celebrated Indian Independence Day and Flag Raising on Saturday, August 13. The event was held at Parsippany Town Hall, 1001 Parsippany Boulevard. India is celebrating 75 years since its independence from British colonial rule.
Sejal Maheta was the Master of Ceremonies; Parsippany-Troy Hills Council President Michael dePierro recited the Pledge of Allegiance and Sneha Ranade song the American National Anthem. Mayor James Barberio greeted the attendees and offered welcoming remarks. Jigar Shah, Chairman Indian-American Cultural Committee greeted the audience and the Keynote speaker was Raj Patel, President, Indian-American Cultural Committee. Swarali Music Academy sang the Indian National Anthem. Cultural performances by Patriotic/Motherland Dance by Dr. Ramadevi; Patriotic Melody by Swarali Music Academy; Dance – Tarana by Krishna Maheta and Patriotic Dance by Arya Dance Academy.
Closing Remarks was by Vishnu Patel.
Mayor James Barberio said “Good Morning. I would like to thank you all for joining us today to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence. It’s a matter of great joy as the Mayor of Parsippany to wish all Indians, living in India and in the United States and also here in Parsippany, my home town, a Happy 75th Independence Day.”
He continued “India’s Independence Day is a festival of freedom. This was made possible by generations of freedom fighters; some known, many unknown. They made great sacrifices. Today, Indian’s in India and throughout the world are able to breathe under free skies thanks to their heroic deeds.”
“India, like many others, suffered great injustices and tyranny under foreign rule. What distinguishes India, however, is that the character of their nationalist movement, led by Mahatma Gandhi, was based on the principles of truth and non-violence. He and all other national heroes provided India with an invaluable blueprint to not only liberate the nation from colonial rule, but also to rebuild it,” continued Barberio.
“What’s great about the United States and why it’s the greatest of all countries is the fact that we can celebrate our heritage and share it with every citizen especially here in Parsippany. And today our Indian population is sharing their culture and history with us here in Parsippany,” he continued.
Barberio conclude “In closing, I would like to thank Jigar Shah, Chairman of the Indian-American Cultural Committee and all its members for coordinating and putting this celebration together. I would also like to thank our Parks and Forestry employees for setting everything up and our Police Department.”
Independence Day is celebrated annually on August 15 as a national holiday in India commemorating the nation’s independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947, the day when the provisions of the 1947 Indian Independence Act, which transferred legislative sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly, came into effect. India retained King George VI as head of state until its transition to a republic, when the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 (celebrated as Indian Republic Day) and replaced the dominion prefix, Dominion of India, with the enactment of the sovereign law Constitution of India. India attained independence following the Independence Movement noted for largely non-violent resistance and civil disobedience.
Independence coincided with the partition of India, in which British India was divided along religious lines into the Dominions of India and Pakistan; the partition was accompanied by violent riots and mass casualties, and the displacement of nearly 15 million people due to religious violence. On August 15, 1947, the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian national flag above the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi. On each subsequent Independence Day, the incumbent Prime Minister customarily raises the flag and gives an address to the nation. The entire event is broadcast by Doordarshan, India’s national broadcaster, and usually begins with the shehnai music of Ustad Bismillah Khan. Independence Day is observed throughout India with flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and cultural events. It is a national holiday.