The 70th Indian Republic Day was celebrated at Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, hosted by the newly-formed Indian American Association (IAA), along with the oldest Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) and the Hyderabad Association, Jan. 26.
Emcees of the Gala Dinner Banquet Motika Anand and Pratibha Jairath welcomed the Guests. Pranati Mitta sang the American national anthem, and the Indian anthem was also sung, followed by the traditional lamp-lighting ceremony.
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, India’s Consul General in Chicago, Neeta Bhushan, and special guest, Bollywood film actress Padmini Kolhapure, attended,
Other guests included CEO of State Bank of India Midwest Amit Jhingran and his wife, Malini Vaidhyanathan, the manager at Air India in the Midwest, and her husband; Dhitu Bhagwakar candidate for Schaumburg Village trustee, Nafees Rahman, candidate for Schaumbugg Mayor, Ashok Lakshman of Professional Mortgage Solutions and a committed supporter of IAA, businessman Mujahid Razvi and poet Ustad Dr. Arman Amerikavi, who is also an advisor to IAA; and Mayor of Hoffman Estates William D. McLeod.
The cultural segment of the evening was jump started Rhythms & Grace Dance Studios little kids, with Ishaan Ahmed presenting the patriotic song – Mere Desh Ki Darthi Sona Ugle, Ugle Hiray Moti.
Nawab Mir Hamid Ali Khan, president of IAA, welcomed the Indian and American guests in his brief speech and recognized the IAA Executive Committee members, Vice Presidents Sher Mohammed Rajput, Jitendra Bedi, Ajai Agnihotri, Dr. Sanhita Agnihotri, Kameswari Bulusu, Raju Shah, Kiran Mitta, Archana Mitta, General Secretary Shahid Razvi and Directors Dr. Togaru John, Ami Mehta, Prerana Mitta, Pankaj Modi, Mala Modi and Ishaan Ahmed.
The IAA President also welcomed Dr. Sanhita Agnihotri, president of the original Federation of Indian Association, and her executive committee members on the stage. This was the first time that “two big and notable Organizations, FIA Original and IAA, shared the same stage and celebrated our National event,” organizers said in a press release. “That was big surprise for all Indian American community and everyone was happy to see this unity. Specially Consulate General of India, Mrs. Neeta Bhushan, was very pleased,” organizers said.
Bhushan said that the IAA had opened a new chapter of unity and friendship and she was “very glad it’s happened in my term,” despite past attempts to bring them together, the press releases quoted her saying.
Earlier in the day, Kolhapure, who came to Chicago to attended Republic Day Celebration event at the invitation of IAA, also attended Republic Day celebrations at the Indian Consulate, and at Meadows Club. She sang some famous songs. Amrita, Sheena, and Nalini Parikh, sang, and Kameswari Bulusu, Ashok, Madhavi, Ajay, Mala Modi and Ishaan Ahmed also sang Bollywood songs.
Dances were performed by Rhythms & Grace Dance Studios, Alokita Dance School, Lavni and ADS Focuses, Soorya Dance School and Sree Gowsami Dance Group.