March for Unity in New Jersey Celebrates Sardar Patel, Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav

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India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal, center, with members of the Federation of Indian Associations and other community leaders at the start of the March for Unity October 30, 2022, organized jointly by Indian Consulate and FIA (Tristate and New England), starting from Meridian Road to Oak Tree Road in Edison, N.J. Photo: Bimal Dhami

The March for Unity hosted by the Indian Consulate in New York, and held in New Jersey was attended by scores of community members October 30, 2022, in Edison, New Jersey.

The event was meant to showcase “Unity in Diversity” which has been India’s abiding principle since independence.

Participants walked from Meridian Road to Oak Tree Road in Edison, and were joined by the Mayor of Edison Sam Joshi as the guest of honor. The Chief Guest was India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal.

Edison Mayor Sam Joshi, 3rd from left, was presented with a plaque by FIA during the March for Unity Oct. 30, 2022, in Edison, N.J. Photo: Bimal Dhami
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Mayor Joshi was presented an appreciation plaque from Federation of Indian Associations.

Slogans of ‘Long Live India’ and ‘Long Live USA’ rent the air as the parade of some 200 marchers walked the route.

Consul General Jaiswal addressed the gathering noting the legacy of India’s ‘Iron Man’ Sardar Patel, who is credited with unifying the country as the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister. His birthday falls on October 31.

From left, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, senior advisor to FIA, India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal, and Kenny Desai, president of FIA. Photo: Bimal Dhami

Chairman of FIA Ankur Vaidya wished everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous Diwali and said, “We’ve gathered here to celebrate the anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, which is tomorrow. Over 40 organizations, 42 to be precise, have come together for this event.”

Executive leadership of FIA poses for a picture in Edison, N.J. during the March for Unity Oct. 30, 2022. Photo: Bimal Dhami

Vaidya added that the joy among participants of the March for Unity showed, “The community has unified to send a united message that we are all together. Pan India pan religion, and pan communities — we are all getting together to celebrate and commemorate this anniversary and spread the message of peace, harmony and unity in diversity. Thank you — Bharat Mata Ki Jai God bless America.”

Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and senior advisor to FIA, noted, “We are here together under the umbrella of the leadership of the FIA with other organizations to show our unity because unity in diversity is the best thing that can happen to all immigrant communities. And we must pitch the united voice for the community as well as for U.S.–India relations, and the 2nd generation. Jai Hind.”

A section of the participants in the March for Unity organized by the Indian Consulate and FIA, Oct. 30, 2022, from Meridian Road to Oak Tree Road in Edison, N.J. Photo: Bimal Dhami

Kenny Desai, president of FIA talked about Sardar Patel’s success in unifying India at independence, bringing 586 precincts together in 13 months. “The same principle we should keep it (sic) here in the United States … Multicultural, multi religious – we all live together here we all should be united.”

If any issue arises with any organization, they should meet and speak with one voice and make that the standard.  “That’s the message we should give – unity in diversity. Well, this century belongs to India. So I believe that we all work together. Be united be strong.”

Joyce Mehta from South Brunswick praised the Unity March organized by the Indian Consulate and FIA. “It’s a march for unity in diversity and look at the people that are here today — truly united as a community.”

Mayor Joshi called it an honor to be part of the march and celebrate Sardar Patel. “And the message that he gave was very clear. It was one of unity and peace and making sure that everyone sticks together. And that’s something that I think that we need to be reminded of today, right here in New Jersey actually, because what’s happening is I have the pleasure and honor, the humbling honor, to be the mayor of one of the most diverse communities in the United States of America.”

With all the backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, everyone is represented in Edison Township, one way or another, Joshi said. “I’ve always believed that if we sow unity, if we show unity, and if we sow peace to each other and understanding and compassion towards one another, that if we can solve that problem right here in Edison, then those vibrations would be felt in New Jersey and (inaudible) reverberate over America.”

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