The Consulate General of India in New York, in collaboration with Shanti Fund, organized a special event called ‘India Calling’ on October 16, 2023, at the Walt Whitman Museum in
Huntington, New York.
This event paid homage to Walt Whitman, a renowned American poet, essayist, and thinker, who had a profound spiritual connection with India.
The ‘India Calling’ exhibit, housed at the Walt Whitman Birthplace Museum in Long Island, delves into Whitman's ties to ancient Indian philosophy. Walt Whitman's literary style was a fusion of transcendentalism and realism, earning him the title of the pioneer of free verse.
Among his notable works is the epic poem “A Passage to India” which spans2300 words and seven pages. In it, Whitman weaves together his romanticized visions of India with modern marvels like the transcontinental railway in the USA and the Suez Canal. He also celebrates India's unique contributions and its breathtaking landscapes.
The event drew a distinguished audience from the community, including Mr. Rakesh Kaul, Vice-Chair of the Indo-American Arts Council, who shed light on Whitman’s literary legacy and his
affinity for India. Cynthia Shor, Executive Director of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association (WWBA), extended a warm welcome and provided insights into the activities of the WWBA.
Jo-Ann Raia conveyed greetings on behalf of the Board of Trustees of WWBA. Addressing the gathering, Mr. Randhir Jaiwal, Consul General of India in New York, spoke about Walt Whitman’s life, enduring influence, and his deep-rooted interest in India.
He also delved on the deep historic and philosophical and spiritual connects between India & the U.S. Mr. Arvind Vora of Shanti Fund expressed gratitude on behalf of the organization,
underscoring the significance of the event. The event was a testament to the enduring connection between Walt Whitman, India, and the rich tapestry of shared ideals and inspirations.