Indian Business Association of New Jersey apologizes for India Day Parade bulldozer float


The Indian Business Association apologized unconditionally for a float featured in its Indian Independence Day Parade in Edison, N.J. which offended top city officials, and activists, as it seemed directed at the Muslim community.

The IBA expressed ‘sincere apologies’ in a letter addressed to Mayor of Edison Sam Joshi, and the Mayor of Woodbridge Township John E. McCormac, both of whom had expressed outrage that a bulldozer was used displaying the image of India’s Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among the floats that passed through the two towns.

Adityanath began being called ‘Bulldozer baba’ for razing properties allegedly belonging to criminals earlier this year during elections, and also for his pronouncements about Muslims.

Mayor Joshi made a statement on the issue saying he believed the bulldozer was a symbol of division and unacceptable and that there was no place for that in Edison County.

The IBA came under fire from several groups and discussions on this subject dominated proceedings in the Town Councils of the two towns through which the India Independence Day parade passed in mid-August. According to news reports, the IBA initially refused to issue an apology.

However, the Aug. 30 letter, signed by President of IBA Chandrakant Patel said it was unfortunate that the bulldozer was used as it “did not reflect our mission,” and reflected poorly on the organization. The Parade should be about Indian heritage and inclusiveness and diversity, and not sow divisiveness, it said.

It recognized that the symbol of the bulldozer had “was seen negatively by many who are deeply impacted and insulted by certain activities that have been happening in India.” It also conceded that some comments made by some speakers at the Parade were offensive, “and that was not our intention.”

“Our parade should never be about politics and should never include these blatant divisive symbols,” the letter admitted.

Below is the full text of the apology.

Aug. 30, 2022 letter from the Indian Business Association to Mayors of Edison and Woodbridge in New Jersey, apologizing for using a bulldozer displaying the image of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Photo: IBA


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