Celebrations of India’s 75th Republic Day from the Himalayas to Houston

Local dignitaries and Indo-Americans gathered at the flag hoisting at India House (photo by Bijay Dixit).

HOUSTON: Celebrations of India’s 75th Republic Day began early in the morning with flag hoisting at the Indian Consulate. The event was broadcast live via social media.

Speakers at the India House flag hoisting included Executive Director Col. Vipin Kumar (left) and Trustee Durga Agrawal (right).

The Indian diaspora and friends of India gathered at India House. Flags of United States, India, Texas and India House were hoisted in the premises of India House, O.P. Jindal Center by the Consul General of India, FB County Commissioner Andy Meyers, Trustees of India House (Durga Agrawal, Dr. Virendra Mathur, Jugal Malani, Bal Sareen and Hari Agrawal) and Executive Committee members of India House (Ashok Bhambhani, Nagraj Eleswarapu and Col Vipin Kumar). The Consul General hoisted the tri-color flag of India.

People from different cultures and ethnicities gathered on the occasion, and together, they embodied the patriotic spirit of India. Darshak Thakker of Krishna Sound played the national anthems of India and the
US. Everyone present proudly joined them in singing the National Anthems.

CG Manjunath with the Ghosh family (Pandit Suman Ghosh, Sashikala and Arohan) after their classical vocal performance at the Consulate’s evening reception at the Hyatt Regency in West Houston.

Aftera group picture outside, the attendees were then invited to the banquet hall for a brief formal ceremony. Col. Vipin Kumar, Executive Director of India House, welcomed all the guests and then invited Payal Mitra for a couple of Indian patriotic songs. Tears were seen rolling in the eyes of many while she was singing. “Aye Mere Vatan Key Logon …” reminding us of the courageous spirit and sacrifices of Indian Defense Forces valor and sacrifices. Many Indian Military Veterans had joined the ceremony and were given a standing ovation by the audience for their service to their nation.

At the commencement of the formal ceremony, after a brief remark by Durga Agrawal, Trustee, India House, he invited the chief guest, the Consul General of India, DC Manjunath to deliver his remarks. Hon. CG spoke about the significance of the Republic Day of India and the increasing diplomatic, cultural, and trade relationship between India and the USA.

Students of Ratna Kumar and Ekta Popat performed classical Bharat Natyam and Kathak dances.

Proclamations were presented to the Executive Committee of India House by Suleman Lalani, Texas State Representative, and the representative of the US Congressman Al Green. The fellowship continued as all present enjoyed light refreshments courtesy of Narin’s Bombay Brasserie and Maharaja Bhog. The celebrations continued with other flag hoistings in Houston (Gujarati Samaj of Houston, Arya Samaj of Greater Houston, etc.).

At the evening reception hosted by the Consulate at the Hyatt Regency West Houston, more than 200 local political leaders, dignitaries and guests attended, including representatives of the Indo-American Association of North Texas (IANT), Astronaut Sunita Williams, and representatives of the Hindus of Greater Houston, BAPS Swaminarayan Temple and numerous other community organizations.