74th Republic Day celebrated in Washington, D.C. with Indian-American leaders, community members
Washington DC: To mark the 74th Republic Day Celebrations, Indian Ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Sandhu accompanied by Army, Navy, and Air Force attachés unfurled the Indian Tricolor National Flag on January 26, 2023, on a sunny yet cold day with beautiful blue skies, at India House, in the presence of members of the Indian diaspora and friends of India.
Celebrating the occasion, Sandhu said, “It was on this day in 1950 that ‘We the People’ put into effect a Constitution that is an inspired document of India’s collective vision. The Constitution is the bedrock of the diversity and vibrancy of our democracy.”
Noting that this year’s celebrations are special as the nation commemorates Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, completion of 75 years of independence, Sandhu highlighted India’s progress in the last 75 years. “Today’s India is not only one of the largest markets that the world looks at as a strong pillar for global economy, but also as a country that can be counted upon in bringing stability and security on multiple counts…” He noted the Voice of Global South Summit India recently hosted, and the several meetings it is planning as president of the G20 group.
Spotlighting the US-India Partnership, Sandhu stressed, “Our two countries are benefiting from mutual exchanges across domains including healthcare, clean energy, security, education, policy translating the vision of Prime Minister Modi and President Biden into action. Our engagements with partners in the Quad have expanded into infrastructure supply chains, climate action, and space cooperation to become a force of global good, as Prime Minister Modi has said.”
Welcoming Indian-American Congressmen Ro Khanna, and Shri Thanedar to the event, Sandhu said, “In a way [they] represent the strength of the community here in which we take pride and who are also part of the bipartisan support that India-US partnership enjoys in the US Congress.”
Referring to the newly elected Congressman Thanedar as a real star in the new Congress, Khanna said, “I have been following him since he ran for Governor of Michigan… he won the (seat in) Congress in a heavily African-American district. And I was in his district and to see the respect that so many in the African-American community have for him, [which] is remarkable…”
“We are here today to celebrate the constitutional principles of India – equality, liberty, pluralism, we celebrate the freedom struggle and what that meant, both to Indian Americans, to India, but also to the world, to Nelson Mandela, to the civil rights movement, to so many movements across the world for justice and dignity,” Khanna, who will serve as the Chairman of the India Caucus in the new Congress, emphasized while noting he is proud of his Indian heritage.
Thanedar, praising Khanna’s leadership said, “Ro, in a such a short time has become a leader in Congress and we’re just proud to have his mentorship and his leadership in the US Congress.”
Thanedar, an entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry, said he decided to run for US Congress to help others realize their American dream. “The only other Indian-American in my district is my wife,” Thanedar chuckled while talking about his Congressional-run from Detroit. “So, this community that you know, does not look like me, I don’t look like them, I do not speak like them, but they put their trust in me to represent them and I’m so grateful for the trust that they have put…”
Thanedar who was recently appointed to serve on the committee of Homeland Security, promised to bring economic opportunities, close the wealth gap, and lift those at the bottom of the economic ladder.
President of India, Droupadi Murmu’s address to the nation was played on the occasion, where the Gandharva School of Music in Richmond, presented songs in different languages depicting the diversity of India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, and from Assam to Gujarat.