74th Independence Day Celebration at India House Despite Pandemic

Chief guest Consul General Aseem Mahajan, India House trustees and other dignitaries stand at attention in front of the U.S., Texas, India and India House flags during the flag hoisting ceremony for India’s 74th Independence Day.

Houston: “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance” — Jawaharlal Nehru (Tryst with Destiny)

Even though India’s freedom struggle is history today, 15 August still holds great significance in the hearts of millions of Indians all over the world. To commemorate the day, every year India House celebrates Independence Day with festivity and vibrancy with more than 200 people in attendance. This year the celebration was different keeping in mind the COVID 19 guidelines issued by the City and CDC.  All safety measures were in place and around 10 invited guests gathered for the celebration. The event was live streamed on India House Facebook page so that everyone could join the celebration virtually.

The Consul General of India, Aseem Mahajan hoisted the Tricolor with Manish Rungta, India House President & Jugal Malani, India House Trustee while everyone joined them in singing the Indian National Anthem. Durga Agrawal, India House Trustee and Sushila Agrawal hoisted the American Flag followed by the playing of American National Anthem. The Texas Flag was hoisted by India House Trustees, Virendra Mathur and Chowdary Yalamanchili. This followed hoisting of India House Flag by Manish Rungta, India House President. It was a spectacular sight as flags of India, USA, Texas and India House were waving in the wind with Indian patriotic songs being played in the background.

After the flag hoisting ceremony, India House Executive Director, Col. Vipin Kumar requested Consul General to say a few words on the occasion. Consul General spoke very proudly about the contribution of Indian Community in Houston in strengthening India and the United States relations. He also lauded India House’s contribution and efforts in helping the community. Representative from Congressman Al Green’s office connected him via phone and attendees could hear his message on the speaker phone. Congressman also spoke about the contribution of the Indo-American community over the years and specially during these difficult times of COVID-19. He also shared his experience of food distribution at India House on August 12, 2020 and praised India House for their services to the community. The proclamation on Congressman’s behalf was handed over to India House President, Manish Rungta and Trustees.

The program ended on a happy note with people enjoying refreshments which were graciously sponsored by Maharaja Bhog. While Darshak Thacker of Krishna Sounds took care of the sound system, Bijay Dixit was busy capturing the moments through his camera.

The event was streamed live on India House Facebook page by our volunteer Manav Rungta, while NTV Houston, a local news channel covered the event.

CG Mahajan, India House trustees and Executive Director Col. Vipin Kumar listen to Congressman Al Green’s congratulatory phone call.