Houstonians Join the World in Celebrating India’s 77th Independence Day

Flag hoisting at the Indian Consulate in Houston with newly arrived Consul General DC Manjunath.

By Pramod Kulkarni

HOUSTON: General DC Manjunath led the energetic celebration of India’s 77th Independence Day throughout Houston. The celebrations began with a flag hoisting at the Consulate on Scotland Street with the attendance of the Consulate staff. CG Manjunath read excerpts from President Droupadi Murmu’s address to the nation. This was followed by quick succession with flag hoistings at the Gujarati Samaj of Houston and India House.

In the evening, the Consulate hosted a reception for local political dignitaries and about 150 invited members of the Indo-American community. Dignitaries attending included representatives of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and Representative Sheila Jackson Lee. Congressman Al Green himself attended the flag hoisting at India House. Many of the representatives presented proclamations in honor of India’s Independence Day. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee attended the flag hoisting at GSH. Both Fort Bend County Judge KP George and the University of Houston Chancellor Renu Khator recalled their childhood in India and were appreciative of the education and values they received through their upbringing in India.

Consul General DC Manjunath hoists the Indian flag at India House in the presence of dignitaries and guests.

Due to a malfunction in the audio system, there were live renditions of the national anthems of the United States and India. Consul Sandeep Choudhary ably performed “Jana Gana Mana”. HPD Chief Troy Finner was assisted by TV Asia Correspondent Manisha Gandhi in performing the “Star Spangled Banner”.

Consul General DC Manjunath speaking at the evening reception at the Consulate.

After the rendition of Bharat Natyam dances and singing of patriotic songs such as “Vande Mataram”, CG Manjunath addressed the audience of about 150 Indo-Americans and their guests. “Independence Day is a special occasion when we remember our long and hard freedom struggle and remember the sacrifices of those who led India to become a free nation,” explained CG Manjunath. “It is also a day for us to take stock of the progress we have made as a nation, challenges that we face, and reaffirm our resolve to overcome them collectively.”

“India, the largest Democratic nation of 1.4 billion people, stands at the cusp of immense potential and opportunity. India is the fastest-growing G20 economy and the largest consumer market globally. with a GDP of $3.7 trillion. By 2030, India will become the third largest economy of the world.”

CG Manjunath also paid tribute to the contributions of the local Indo-American community to the economy of the United States and expanding trade between the US and India.