The iconic Times Square, reverberating with the chants of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, was on Sunday drenched in the hues of saffron, white and green as the biggest Indian tricolour was unfurled at the popular New York City destination to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence Day.
The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA), one of the largest community organisations in the US, had announced its plans to unfurl the biggest tricolour of 6 ft by 10 ft tricolour hoisted on a 25 feet pole earlier. As part of the day-long celebrations to be organised by the FIA, the first India Day billboard at Times Square will also be displayed for 24 hours. Patriotic Indian songs reverberated through Times Square, the crossroads of the world, as members of the Indian diaspora gathered in large numbers for the commemoration. The event will conclude with a gala cruise on the Hudson River attended by top government officials, special guests and members of the Indian-American community. An Independence Day message will also be displayed on the largest Jumbotron at Times Square for 24 hours, the FIA added. The FIA also organises its annual flagship event – the India Day Parade to mark India’s Independence Day in August.
Top US political leaders, lawmakers as well as prominent members of the Indian-American community and celebrities from India have participated in the annual parade that draws a crowd of thousands in the heart of Manhattan each year. However, like last year, the parade will not be held this year too due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FIA had hoisted India’s National Flag at Times Square on the country’s Independence Day last year, the first time the Indian tricolour was unfurled at the iconic New York City destination.