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IACA Celebrates India’s 62nd Republic Day With Pride
The Republic Day of India is a national holiday of India to mark the transition of India from a British Dominion to a Republic on January 26, 1950 and the adoption of the Constitution of India. Though India obtained its independence on August 15, 1947; India became a sovereign nation and the Constitution of India came into effect on January 26, 1950.
Republic Day, January 26, is celebrated most grandly in New Delhi, where symbols of the great nation's military might and cultural wealth are displayed in what must be the world's most impressive parade. The beginning of this day is always a solemn reminder of the sacrifice of the martyrs who died for India in the Freedom Movement and in the succeeding wars defending the sovereignty of India. At the start of the parade the Prime Minster of India, the Chiefs of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force salute these brave souls at India Gate (Amir Jyoti), a memorial arch honoring members of the Indian armies.
While the best known celebrations take place on January 26th in Rajpath, New Delhi, India, the Indian American Cultural Association (IACA) in Smyrna did not want to be left out in their expression of this proud moment.
IACA celebrated the Republic Day at their own Indian Cultural and Religious Center, in Smyrna, on the evening of the 26th of January 2011, commemorating the dedication and the commitment of IACA in service to the Indian American and mainstream community in Georgia.
IACA has grown from a local, grass-roots nonprofit founded in 1972, to a premiere organization serving Georgia’s Indian community with a flair for celebrating the rich cultural heritage of India with continued emphasis on children, adults and families residing in the USA.
IACA has strived hard through its socio-cultural projects to bring the Indian camaraderie and culture increasingly into the mainstream of the harmonious and ethnically diverse population of the USA.
IACA’s Republic Day celebration saw its President Sneha Mehta and her Executive Committee all dressed in traditional attire, welcome the gathering with fanfare and hospitality. Mehta introduced the new executive body for the year 2011 and they were given a warm welcome by the attendees. This year IACA will be celebrating its 40 years of serving the Indian community and all present were happy to be part of IACA.
The program started with hoisting of the Indian flag by the Keynote speaker Dr. Lawrence Schall (President of the Oglethorpe University) setting the tone for the rest of the evening. After the Indian flag hoisting, the Indian and American national anthems were recited by Suma Yellamraju and Sonakshi Mishra followed by presentation of patriotic songs by Anusha Goda, Siddharth Satuluru, Supraja Satuluru, Apurva Kasam, and Anuhya Kasam.
Kamalkanth Satuluru presented a bouquet of flowers to the Keynote Speaker Dr Schall. Dr. Schall congratulated all for the celebration and took the opportunity to present a short video clip about Oglethorpe University’s IDEX program, sending students to India to work with schools in rural areas. He also talked about his fond memories from his own visit to India and his optimism about working with India to bring about stronger ties and understanding between the USA and India. Dr. Schall also shared information about their upcoming Indian Art Exhibition in March.
Honorable Greg Pridgeon, former Council member and former Chief of Staff for the City of Atlanta brought special remarks at the celebration. Mr. Pridgeon talked about the great
friendship that has existed between Indian community and City of Atlanta and said that Indian community has now become a part of his extended family.
Vote of thanks was provided by Nevedita Garabadu, acknowledging representatives from
Sanatan Mandir, TAMA, GATS, Kannada Koota, VHP of America, Vibha,
NASSTA, Gandhi Foundation, India Muslim Council, and Compassionate Care Hospice.
All present enjoyed the delicious snacks provided by Swapna restaurant, Shivam with hot Chai prepared by IACA volunteers Jashbhai Modi and Kanubhai Patel to whet the appetite of a large gathering.
This annual event of IACA also provided a chance for the Executive Committee to showcase the caliber of their plans for the year to come.
The event was well-attended by many members of the Indian American community. The
presence of number of well-known community leaders, especially the youth who took part in cultural performance, made the occasion suitably festive and memorable!