Atlanta, GA: India American Cultural Association (IACA) celebrated India’s 64rd Republic Day with great joy, patriotic fervor and national pride on Saturday January 26, 2013. The celebrations were attended by representatives of Aligarh Muslim University ( AMU), Indian American Muslim Council, Georgia Chapter ( IAMC), Greater Atlanta Punjabi Society; past and present IACA Board of Governors and Executive Committee members,IACA member and was graced by the presence of the Chief Guest, Consul of India in Atlanta, Hon. Rajinder Singh. This year’s Republic day celebration had two distinguished guest speakers. Keynote speaker was Dr. S Rashid Naim Director Undergraduate Studies, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. Dr. Thanks to the concerted efforts of Vice president, Rina Gupta, IACA was able to get Dr. Devesh Mathur , Director, Novelius ( Aditya Birla Group ) as another distinguished speaker.
As the sun shone down on Atlanta,Hon. Rajinder singh unfurled the Tricolor in presence of the attendees amidst rousing ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Hind’. This was followed by beautiful renditions of the Indian National Anthem, ‘Jana Gana Mana’ by the assembled dignitaries and members. Star Spangled Banner was sung by Siri Yellamraju.
The celebrations continued in the auditorium. The program was emceed by IACA Executive Vice President Nivedita Garabadu and President Kaushal Tripathi. IACA President Kaushal Tripathi extended his warm greetings to all and elucidated the important role IACA has played in vibrant Indo American community of Georgia for last 42 years. “Look to your left, Look to your right, front and back chances are you are sitting next to a person who does not practice your faith, neither speaks your language, however, you all have assembled here under one roof of IACA. It is the flag which is binding us together, our 5000 years of glorious culture that has taught us to stay together with peace and harmony” said Tripathi. ( Applause )
Speaking on the occasion, Rajinder Singh talked about the progress and growth of Indian economy and it’s impact on global market place. Mr Singh also mentioned the work done by the newly opened Indian consulate in Atlanta. Mr Singh paid tribute to founding fathers of the Indian Constitution, and said India has emerged as fastest growing economy in the world and one of the significant members of the global community with 8% growth rate despite global recession. Singh said , despite the progress , lots of work still needs to be done towards, self drinking water, education for the masses. He quoted President Obama’s view towards India, saying “Indo American relation as defining partnership of 21st century, India looks forward to further enhance indo-US partnership”. He concluded by saying, “that the values that have been passed down to us by our forefathers must be passed to next generation , if we want them to grow up as good human beings having their roots in India. Thank you and jai Hind”
Dr. S. Rashid Naim in his keynote address said, “The framers of the constitution led by Dr. Ambedkar, and consisting of Indians of all different, regions, castes, religions, ethnicities and representing all different languages and regions, had just the right balance of idealism on one hand and understanding of realities on the other to put together a workable document based on principles dear to most Indians Recognition and accommodation of Indian diversity Parliamentary Democracy, Republican ideal, Secularism Institutionalization. Strong center to ensure the unity of the country but allowing enough state autonomy to deal with the diversity and needs of different regions and complexity of ruling a vast country In the words of the preamble to the constitution to assure to all Indians.”
Dr Rasheed concluded by saying, “At the end I would request all of you to pray for the framers of our constitution and for the prosperity, peace and well-being of India and all her wonderful people”
IACA thanks Mr Waseed Syed of IAMC for facilitating the keynote speech and hard work of Vice President Rina Gupta in reaching out to corporate world specially, Aditya Birla Group.
Dr Mathur, explained how Aditya Birla Group ( ABG ) Novelis has made it’s mark in manufacturing in Georgia. Dr Mathur said: “Our leadership comes in many ways- micro loans, marketing and Rs. 1 sache, phone services, and one of the most visible IT. But there are deeper things- India led in thought- and built an infrastructure. At a time when most countries wanted India to buy… we decided to build. That is paying rich dividends. We have fortune 500 companies that lead in cement, oil and gas, petrochemicals, mobile, aluminum, clothing fiber, IT among others. For years I worked for global companies where headquarters were in NewYork, Connecticut, or New Jersey … now I work for a company which is headquartered in Mumbai and manufacturing is done in Georgia. Reverse globalization what a concept. Recently I was in India for the opening for the R&D center for ABG. I had done this for GE before… but this was special. It was star studded, as I sat with Birla ji, many dignitaries were there… as P. Chidambaram spoke on self reliance and how proud he was of the Indian companies that made investments to MAKE & MANUFACTURE SOMETHING (not just trade)…tears of pride rolled down my eyes….I have many such stories of what Indian did and how my father or our past president Dr. Kalam and great scientists saved the day and India became a technology leader.”
After the lectures, President Kaushal Tripathi recognized some of the new IACA life members including new life member Mr. Girish Modi, Suresh Patel and Bipin Changela. He called out their names and requested them to come on stage and meet with Hon. Rajinder Singh and speakers. It was another historic day for IACA as wing commander from Indian Airforce Mr. Abdul graced the ceremony.
Students of Kala Vasudevan’s Shruthilaya also sang two well-chosen and applause-winning patriotic songs for the occasion-‘Vande Mataram’ and Jai Jai, jai Janmabhoomi and ‘Jai jai Matrubhoomi’. Four-year-old year old Manomay Sai sang devotional songs including “Jaye Jayehe” for 5 minutes with confidence and vigor.
Tripathi said he was very happy to see some of the stalwart members and past Officers of IACA who were present- Dr. Yogesh Joshi, Vir Nanda, Ani Agnihotri,Chand Akkineni, Sneha Mehta,Ramanbhai Patel, Devyani Desai, Chaitanya Bhatt, to name a few.
Delicious refreshments and beverages were served to all at the end of the program. Dr Paddy Sharma Courtsey Madras Shravan Bhavan, arranged delicious snacks.
Hon. Rajinder Singh visited the Gandhi Room and toured the entire IACA/ICRC facility.