Colorful and festive celebration of Gujarat-Maharashtra Day held at Indian Consulate, NY

Filled with pride, honorees and sponsors gather, symbolizing the spirit of Gujarat Maharashtra Day celebrated May 1, 2024, at the Indian Consulate, NY. PHOTO: FIA

In a display of strong public-private partnership, the Gujarati Associations of North America came together to celebrate Gujarat-Maharashtra Day, May 1, 2024, with the Indian Consulate in New York, the Federation of Indian Associations, NYNJCTNE, in an event sponsored by India’s leading private sector company Amul The Taste of India.Other partners for the event were the Gujarati Literary Academy of North America (GLA), and the Albany Dhol Tasha Pathak. It was a colorful and joyous evening with several dance performances.

Several colorful dance performances enlivened the May 1, 2024, celebration of Gujarat-Maharashtra Day, at the Indian Consulate, NY. Seen in dance photos above, Maharashtrian dance, and below Gujarati dance. PHOTO: CGNY

Since 1960, May 1 has become a signature day to celebrate the progress of Gujarat and Maharashtra. It also provides communities the opportunity to “reaffirm their commitment to upholding the values of linguistic diversity, regional autonomy, and cooperative federalism that are crucial to India’s democratic fabric,” a press release from FIA said.

To begin the event, General Secretary of FIA Priti Patel, traced the journey and cultural landscapes of Gujarat and Maharashtra and recited a much-loved Gujarati poem that translates to “Gujarat is one of Bharat’s heartbeat, its the name of a fountain, and of peace and prosperity.”

Guests delighting in the cultural heritage showcased on Gujarat Maharashtra Day, May 1, 2024, at the Indian Consulate, NY. PHOTO: Kripa Prasad, ITV Gold

Pallavi Kabadi addressed the crowd in Marathi, to demonstrate the closeness of the cultures of the two states.

Dr. Avinash Gupta, president of the FIA, introduced guests and sponsors.  FIA Chairman, Ankur Vaidya joined him on stage to welcome Consul General of India in New York Binaya S. Pradhan, gifting him an ethnic turban or pagdi traditionally worn by men in the Gujarat-Maharashtra region.

Consul General of India in New York, Binaya S. Pradhan delivers an inspiring speech, celebrating the birth and progress of Gujarat and Maharashtra over the past 63 years, May 1, 2024, at Indian Consulate. PHOTO: FIA

CG Pradhan delivered an inspiring speech, emphasizing the strong connections between India and its diaspora, and the two states. “Today, we are celebrating the birth of the two states. We are also celebrating the economic and social progress they have made in the last 63 years.” He also mentioned how the Gujarati community, known for thriving everywhere they go, dominated the first two waves of Indian immigration to America.

Speakers at the Gujarat-Maharashtra Day, May 1, 2024, at the Indian Consulate in NY. Clockwise from top left, CG Srikant Pradhan, Dr. Avinash Gupta, Ankur Vaidya, Ashish Desai, Ankit Trivedi, Srujal Parikh. PHOTO: FIA
Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media, speaking at the Gujarat Maharashtra Day observed May 1, 2024, at the Indian Consulate. PHOTO: Kripa Prasad, ITV Gold
From left, Ankur Vaidya, Consul General of India in New York Binaya Srikant Pradhan, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, and Dr. Avinash Gupta. PHOTO: ITV Gold

During the event, Vaidya announced the names of all the honorees and sponsors to be felicitated. Consul General Pardhan, DCG Jeph and Alok Kumar, felicitated the honorees with the traditional ethnic turban and a memento of the Modhera Sun Temple.The honorees included FIA Senior Advisor, Padma Shri recipient, and Chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Mayor of West Windsor Hemant Marathe, Grammy Award winner Falu Shah, Hamil Davnekar, Gujarati poet and composer Ankit Trivedi, Jayen Mehta from Amul, the entire team of GANA, Ram Gadhavi, doyen of Gujarati literature and a founding member of the FIA, GLA President Ashish Desai. Pradhan also thanked all the partners and sponsors, including the entire team of Amul, Team Air India, and the entire team of Consul General of NY.

Amidst the celebration, Amul honors its Gujarat heritage by launching in the USA, at the May 1, 2024, Gujarat Maharashtra Day celebration at the Indian Consulate. PHOTO: FIA
Amul Taste of India team at the Gujarat Maharashtra Day celebrations in the Indian Consulate, NY. PHOTO: Indian Consulate NY


Priti Patel, FIA’s General Secretary, extends a heartfelt welcome to all attendees at the May 1, 2024, Gujarat Maharashtra Day in the Indian Consulate, NY. PHOTO: FIA

Several colorful performances and thought-provoking speeches were other highlights of the event. From the enchanting dances of Nirmiti School of Dance and DanceXStudio to the insightful speeches by poet Ankit Trivedi, Dr. Kenneth X. Robbins, and Dr. Maitree Sabnis, each segment made an impact on the audience. Robbins and Sabnis delivered their talk via Zoom, on the history of the states, and etymology of names etc. Both professors have collaborated on projects relating to the states.

Trivedi shared his work, reciting his poems and also speaking about his experience and pride in being a part of the community.

In a special segment, Joint Secretary and Board Member of FIA, Srujal Parikh, felicitated the sponsors and partners whose generous support made the event possible. He also celebrated the launch of Amul products in the US. Jayen Mehta, the managing director of Amul The Taste of India, inaugurated the launch and enlightened the crowd through the journey and success of Amul from its founding in 1946 to becoming the world’s largest farmer-owned dairy company with an annual turnover of over $10 billion. The company’s mission to become the strongest and largest brand in the world was reinforced by the launch of fresh milk in the US, in partnership with the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA).  Joe Dig Leo, the president and CEO of the MMPA, along with Greg Solin, Brad Parks, and Sudeep Jain, with Consul General Pradhan and Deputy Consul General Dr. Varun Jeph, were called up on stage. Influential individuals from the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra were honored.

Bhavisha Patel from Siddhivinayak Temple New Jersey performed “Vagyo Re Dhol,” a well-known folk song, to close the celebrations.



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