The Association of Indians in America (AIA) has planned to celebrate its 50th anniversary of its birth in a grand manner the Garden City Hotel in Garden City, Long Island on Saturday, December 1. “The Association of Indians in America is the oldest grass root Indian Organization in United States of America, which was established in 1967 to help the newly arrived Indian immigrants assimilate and settle in their new adopted homeland,” Banquet Chairman Ravishankar Bhooplapur and Chair of Media Smiti Khanna, are quoted saying in a press release.
The Association of Indians in America is the oldest national association of Asian Indians in America. It was founded on August 20, 1967 after the United States Congress passed the 1965-66 Immigration Act, repealing the Asian Exclusion Act of 1917. The Constitution of the AIA was adopted in 1970 and was incorporated in 1971. AIA obtained the IRS exempt status in 1973.
AIA is the grass-root national organization of Asian Immigrants in the United States, fostered on the democratic principles of “one member one vote”, with chapters and membership spread across the United States of America. AIA represents the hopes and aspirations of those immigrants who are united by their common bond of Indian Heritage and American Commitment.
According to a press release, the AIA was instrumental in the resettlement of Indians who were fleeing from Uganda to escape the tyranny of Idi Amin. Since then, AIA has been a pioneer in serving the causes of the Indians in America addressing issues related to professional licensing, immigration, racial and professional discrimination, civil rights, the glass ceiling and many more.
In the past 50 years, many people of prominence have had the opportunity to be honored by the organization and speak at their annual events. These include nobel laureates such as S. Chandrasekhar in 1973, Norman E. Borlaug in 1976, Lawrence R. Klein in 1981, Peace Corps of America in 1991 and Amartya Sen in 1994; leading artists Ravi Shankar, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Amjad Ali Khan, Zubin Mehta, Ali Akbar Khan and Yehudi Menuhin; and globally acclaimed academicians Professor Jagdish Bhagwati, Margaret Meade, Professor T. N. Srinivasan, Professor Robert A. F. Thurman, just to name a few.
The most popular event that is held by AIA and was started in 1987 is their annual Diwali Celebration at South Street Seaport in New York City.