Indians everywhere commemorate the country’s independence from British rule, a long, non-violent struggle headed by Mahatma Gandhi, on August 15th. In Stamford, CT, Mayor David Martin hosted the 72nd Indian Independence celebration at the Stamford Government Center. The Connecticut Chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO-CT) organized the event on Sunday, August 12th. Indian Consul Jaideep Chola, who is also the Head of Chancery, was the chief guest who delivered the Independence Day message emphasizing the importance of India’s independence and its adoption of democracy.
“While your adopted land is the oldest and most powerful democracy in the world, India too has the distinction of having the largest democracy with diversities like religion, caste, creed, region and language and this day is celebrated by every Indian in all parts of India,” Said Chola.
Chola said that India in a short span achieved distinction of competing with the most powerful economies in the world and recently, India has overtaken France as the sixth largest economy in the world.
“We have seen a fascinating transformation that has taken place in India – U.S. relations in the last several decades with deepening of our relationship based on our shared values of democracy, universal human rights, tolerance and pluralism, equal opportunities for all citizens and rule of law, and our bilateral relations have now developed into a Global Strategic Partnership” Chola continued. The U.S. has been our foremost partner, not only in trade and investment, but also in technology, knowledge and development.
The program began with the singing of a patriotic song, followed by a welcome address given by GOPIO-CT President Anita Bhat who gave an account of what GOPIO-CT is doing for the community and the local society. Program Coordinator Shelly Nichani introduced and thanked Mayor Martin for hosting the event. Mayor Martin spoke on the diversity of the City of Stamford and said it enriched the whole city.
Congressman Jim Himes compared the American Independence to India’s Independence, the difference being India got its independence by non-violent methods.
Cultural programs depicting the rich culture of India were performed by children of Indian origin representing the vibrant culture of India.