70th Indian Independence Day Celebrations at India House

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Photos: Bijay Dixit

HOUSTON: Befitting the occasion, the atmosphere was charged with festivity and vibrancy as Indo-Americans celebrated India’s 70th Independence Day on August 15, at India House. The people waved the tricolor as Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray started the ceremony by hoisting the Indian National Flag while the spectators sang the Indian National Anthem led by the amazing 13year old Chloe Choudhury.  Dr. Durga Agrawal and Jugal Malani, hoisted the American Flag with Chloe leading the crowds through the American National Anthem. Next came the Texas Flag which was hoisted by Dr. Virendra Mathur, Dr. Manish Rungta and Jiten Agarwal. The Slogans “Jai Hind and Bharat Mata Ki Jai” echoed around. All the rain and stormy weather could not keep the 200 plus crowd away.

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From left: Jiten Agarwal, Dr. Virendra Mathur, Dr. Manish Rungta, Dr. Durga Agrawal, Jugal Malani, and Sam Merchant.

The young campers lined the corridors holding up colorful peace signs and banners as the guests made their way to the Brij-Sunita Agrawal Banquet Hall for the short program. Col. Vipin Kumar welcomed the guests. Soon after, Senator John Cornyn’s Regional Director Jay Guerrero read out his speech and handed over the proclamation on his behalf to India House President, Dr. Manish Rungta. This was followed by a few heartwarming speeches by Dr. Manish Rungta, Consul General Ray, Dr. Virendra Mathur and Dr. Durga Agrawal.

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Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray

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Jay Guerrero

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Col. Vipin Kumar

Dr. Agrawal recalled the old days when only a handful of people came to the flag hoisting functions and was extremely happy that today there were more than 200 people present. Sam Merchant handed over the proclamation to India House Trustees on behalf of Congressman Al Green.

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Emotional and patriotic songs sung by Maha Lakshmi were outstanding. The audience was moved to tears when she sang `Aey Mere Watan Ke Logon’. The mood was lightened by the India House summer camp kids who stole the viewers’ hearts with their amazing performance of an Indian folk dance and a Rap which the kids themselves had composed, called “India O-Aey O-Aey”. Dr. Amit Goldberg Ray handed out the backpack filled with school supplies to the happy campers.
Darshak Thacker of Krishna Sounds managed the sound arrangement for the event. The program ended on a happy note with people mingling and enjoying yummy refreshments, which were graciously sponsored, by Kurrywala Restaurant, Madras Pavilion and Vishala Grocers.

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