Community celebrates India’s 73rd Republic Day in New Jersey

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Organizers and distinguished guests pose for a photo on the stage at the Jan. 26, 2022celebrations of India’s 73rd Republic Day, at Royal Albert’s Palace, Fords, N.J. Photo: ITV Gold

The Indian American Community of North America, IACONA, celebrated India’s 73rd Republic Day on Jan. 26, 2022, at the Royal Albert Palace in Fords,New Jersey.

Close to four hundred people from the community attended the event including community dignitaries, retired Colonels and Generals from the Indian Army, according to organizers.

Some of the leaders present included IACONA Chairman Albert Jasani, Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh of Parikh Worldwide Media, Person of the Year 2021 Award winner Dr. Sunil H. Parikh, Chandra Jhaveri, Dev Karlekar, and many others.

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The attendees also included Commissioner Sue Kylie who is running for Congress, and Township office holders, elected officials, representatives from the Police Department and the Department of Defense. Among other guests were heads of several community organizations, sponsors of the event and donors.

The event began with the hoisting of the Indian flag and singing of the Indian National Anthem, followed by a cultural program of Kathak and Bharatnatyam Dances, and a dinner.

Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Wordwide Media and ITV Gold, right, with Albert Jasani, founder of Indian American Community of North America, IACONA, on stage at the Jan. 26, 2022 celebrations of India’s 73rd Republic Day held in Royal Albert’s Palace, Fords, N.J. Photo: ITV Gold

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sudhir Parikh wished everyone a happy Republic Day.
“This is the day when India really became a democracy 73 years ago,” he said. “And we are happy and lucky that we are here and we are celebrating the Republic Day of India,” he said.

Several Indian-American community leaders including Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, 3rd from left, at the Jan. 26, 2022 Republic Day of India event organized by the Indian American Community of North America, IACONA. Photo: ITV Gold

“Let us work for Mother India and do something for Mother India because that is our responsibility to help Mother India,” he added. “I would like to congratulate the Indian American Community of North America and chairman Albert Jasani and other members,” he said.

Following its practice, IACONA awards a community member for their outstanding contribution to the community through the year. This year, the award was given to Dr. Sunil H. Parikh.

Dr. Sunil. H. Parikh recognized at the Jan. 26, 2022, Republic Day of India celebrations organized by the Indian American Community of North America, IACONA. Photo: ITV Gold

IACONA also paid tribute this year to the participants in India’s freedom struggle, with special tributes to Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. This year, a special tribute was also paid to the India’s General Bipin Rawat who died in a recent plane crash along with several others. The event also had a memorial presentation for those of the community who were lost during the pandemic.

Dr Sunil H. Parikh from the South Asian Diabetes Center at St. Peter’s University Hospital also represented the SSAI (Sight Saving Academy India Inc. USA) and the SKN Foundation (Shree Krishna Nidhi Foundation) based in Hillsborough Township, N.J.

Speaking to those gathered, Dr. Sunil Parikh said he was very proud to see IACONA take a big step towards creating more awareness about India by celebrating India’s Republic Day. He said the SSAI had been working in New Jersey and in India for the past 21 months, providing meals, masks, plasma, navigation help for COVID testing and for vaccination. The organization was planning a new Health Center in partnership with St. Peters Hospital, he said.

Chandra Jhaveri, dressed to represent Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said he wanted to show his respect to the Prime Minister by doing that and called for hailing India in one voice.

Juned Qazi addressing the crowd at the Jan. 26, 2022 Republic Day of India event at Royal Albert’s Palace, Fords, N.J., organized by Indian American Community of North America, IACONA. Photo: ITV Gold

Council member Juned Qazi thanked ITV for its coverage of India’s 73rd Republic Day at the Royal Albert Palace. “I wish all the Indians in America and globally a Happy Republic Day,” he said. Introducing Commissioner Kylie of Monmouth County as a candidate for Congress, he said, “I want all Indians to vote for her.”

Commissioner Kylie said, “I am very excited to have met a lot of the Indian community at this wonderful celebration. … A great great group of people that I immediately fell in love with.”

Monmouth County Commissioner Sue Kiley who is running for U.S. Congress, addressing the crowd at the Jan. 26, 2022 Republic Day of India event at Royal Albert’s Palace, Fords, N.J., organized by Indian American Community of North America, IACONA. Photo: ITV Gold

Kylie went on to say, “There’s a lot of things we have to change in our country. But we’re going to stick together we’re going to count on our faith. And we’re going to count on doing things that makes common sense. So hopefully I see you again soon.”

Dev Karlekar, founder and CEO of GuruSchools, acknowledged all the dignitaries gathered. “Today we are celebrating India’s Republic Day at the  Royal Albert Palace, New Jersey, along with some of our prominent leaders such as Councilman Juned Quazi who has brought some other political leaders to this event to spread awareness about India and Indians,” he said. “Needless to say, Albert (Jasani) graciously opened his doors so that we could have the event. All precautions about the pandemic and protocols were followed. Thank you ITV for covering us, Bharat Mata Ki Jai, Vande Mataram,” he concluded.

One of the attendees recounted his experience decades ago when he participated in the ceremonial parade on Rajpath in New Delhi. “I walked and saluted our ‘tiranga’ on Rajpath. That has become my lifelong memory till today after 63 years,” he said.

 

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