Historic Bharat Mahotsav held at Times Square

From left, Dr. Raj Bhayani, Dilip Chauhan (Mayor Eric Adam’s Office), Pramod Bhagat, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Dr. Sudha Parikh, Amruta Fadnavis, Consul General Randhir Jaiswal, Mrs. and Mr. Shiv Agarwal, Amitabh Shrivastava, pose for a photo at Bharat Mahotsav in Times Square August 16, 2023, as Fadnavis is presented a recognition. PHOTO: ITV Gold

Bharat Mahotsav New York 2023, hosted by World Peace and Health Foundation, New Jersey, and presented by Confluence NGO, New Delhi, was held August 24, 2023 through August 28, 2023.

With the theme of – Ganga to Hudson-Cultural Relationship between India and USA — the festival held various events including musical concerts, economic development meets, health and wellness conferences on holistic yoga and quantum healing for better health. Parikh World Media, publisher of Desi Talk and News India Times, was a co-host of Bharat Mahotsav.

The 4-day festival was celebrated at different landmark sites in New York City starting with a conference at the United nations headquarters, followed by a cultural celebration at the Consulate General of India in New York, then the joyous amalgam of dance, music, songs, at Times Square on August 26. The festival’s last day, Sunday, August 27, featured a spiritual summit on the Confluence of Ganga and Hudson.

From left, Amitabh Shrivastav, Consul General Randhir Jaiswal, Smita Shrivastav, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, and Pramod Bhagat, at the Indian Consulate Bharat Mahotsav event, August 25, 2023. PHOTO: Huda Shawkat

Bharat Mahotsav is a celebratory festival under the government of India’s ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ program in different countries where Indians reside. The festival is an initiative of Confluence NGO which has held similar programs in various parts of the world including London, Dubai, Los Angeles, to name just a few.

At the Indian Consulate in New York, Consul General Randhir Jaiswal said Friday’s was the great celebration of India’s freedom and progress. Showing excitement about the upcoming Saturday event, Jaiswal had said, “We will celebrate all aspects of India in this festival. Let us all together participate so we can spread word about India to all the corners of the world.”

Founder of The Confluence Smita Shrivastav, speaking at the Indian Consulate in New York during the Bharat Mahotsav event August 25, 2023. PHOTO: Huda Shawkat

Amitabh Shrivastav, the curator of Bharat Mahotsav, said, “Today we are celebrating the culmination of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and proclamation of Amrit Kaal at the Consulate of India.” Many dignitaries and celebrities from India and around the world had specially come to attend the festival, he noted.

Shrivastav thanked Parikh Worldwide Media, which was also the supporter of Bharat Mahotsav, for supporting the event, which he acknowledged, had led to the program’s success.

Speaking in Hindi at Consulate, Milan Parikh said that it was a day of pride to be at the Consulate to celebrate Bharat Mahotsav. Talking to ITV Gold, he praised Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman and CEO of Parikh Worldwide Media, as a “remarkable” person from Gujarat, contending that he was probably one of few people involved in multiple fields – medicine, social work, business and politics.

“Bharat Mahotsav is increasing the relationship between the U.S and India not only diplomatically or politically, but also in technology, in trade, in culture and in B2B Communications,” Dr. Sudhir Parikh said, commending the work of Amitabh Shrivastav and Confluence, and assuring them of his personal and media support from ITV Gold in any of their future initiatives.

Singer, performer Jose Moreland, on stage at the Bharat Mahotsav in Times Square Aug. 26, 2023. PHOTO: ITV Gold

Speaking on the occasion, actor, singer, social activist Amruta Fadnavis said she was proud to be there for the Bharat Mahotsav, and be part of the events at the Consulate and at Times Square where cultural events were going to take place the next day, that would make the world sit up and see how India was moving forward, including with the historic Chandrayaan 3 moon landing.

Performers from Arya Dance Academy at the Times Square Bharat Mahotsav. PHOTO: ITV Gold

At the Times Square event, many groups of children, predominantly from the US, and part of the Arya Dance Academy, performed a series of joyful dances. Among the well-known attendees and performers were Amruta Fadnavis, a singer and social activist, the wife of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis; singers and performers Jose Moreland, Sandeep Soparkar, Simran Ahuja, Avitesh Shrivastava, Rupal Patel, and Ragini Sutradhar. The joyous crowds on the ground at Times Square, danced with the performers who were on stage.

Consul General Jaiswal called it a “grand celebration” of India’s art and culture and of US-India relations, in an interview with ITV Gold.

Smita Shrivastav, founder of The Confluence, a well-known fashion designer from Benares who promotes handloom and khadi produced by local artisans, choreographed the Fashion Show at Times Square, which also included famous designer Reena Dhaka. People also celebrated the India’s August 23 successful landing of Chandrayaan 3 on the south pole of the moon.

Singer and activist Amruta Fadnavis, special guest, performing at the Bharat Mahotsav in Times Square Aug. 26, 2023. PHOTO: ITV Gold

“This was the first time that Bharat Mahotsav was held in Times Square where more than 20,000 people packed the venue,” Pramod Bhagat, president of World Peace and Health Foundation told Desi Talk. “My vision is rooted in the village – We believe in the universality of humanity with no caste or creed, and that is what these events are based on.”

Several Bharat Mohotsav Awards and recognitions were also presented at the event to individuals including Drs. Sudhir and Sudha Parikh, Chef Vikas Khanna, Dr. Raj Bhayani, Navin Shah, and youth achievers. New York City Mayor Eric Adams sent congratulatory certificates to The Confluence and to World Peace and Health Foundation.

Congratulating Amitabh Shrivastav and Smita Shrivastav for organizing a successful festival, Dr. Sudhir Parikh said that it was an honor to launch the Times Square Bharat Mahotsav event which celebrates India’s oneness and the ideal of ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’ and is part of efforts to strengthen US-India relations culturally, economically, politically and in many other ways. Recognitions were presented to several

At the conclusion of Bharat Mahotsav, a Rudra Vishekam was performed on the Hudson shore using water brought from the Ganga in Benares, with more than 50 devotees participating.PHOTO: ITV Gold

At the conclusion of the events, a Rudra Vishekam was performed on the Hudson shore using water brought from the Ganga in Benares, with more than 50 devotees participating. “The purpose was to symbolize how rivers join places – and the India-US relationship,” Bhagat said.

The series of events also included two galas, one held at Hotel Mint in Long Island, and the other at Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords, New Jersey.



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