COMMUNITY/INDIAN REPUBLIC DAY
Children dress up as freedom fighters at Indian
American Muslim Council event in Bay Area
sister Zoha Ahmad, 6, as a Gujarati
“I have painted his hair with multani
mitti (Fuller’s earth) to make him look
like Mahatma Gandhi,” said Faisal’s
mother Rehana Syed.
Amar Khan, 8, was dressed as India’s
first education minister Maulana Abdul
Kalam Azad, complete with a sherwani.
“It’s about bringing the children clos-
er to India,” Ahsan Khan, the IAMC-
Bay Area president, told India Abroad.
“We are reaching out to multiple com-
munities to join hands to celebrate
India’s Republic Day.”
Anand Jha, consul, community affairs
at the Indian consulate in San
Francisco, told IAMC members: ‘I have
been looking to connect with the IAMC.
I want to be a bridge between the very powerful Indian
Diaspora in the Bay Area and the consulate in San
He said he would let Consul General N Parthasarathi
know about IAMC member Ashan Syed’s complaints about
the consulate staff’s behavior.
‘You have more friends in Congress than you realize,’ United States Representative Mike Honda, told
over 100 Indian American Muslim
Council members. He was speaking at the
IAMC event celebrating India’s 63rd
Republic Day in the San Francisco Bay
Area, January 28.
‘Just knock on our door and show your
face and share your issues, so that we
should know what you want,’ Honda
He described the United States as a
country of Diasporas.
‘Our country is sometimes ignorant
about other diasporas,’ he added to
applause, ‘and we should learn and teach
each other. Silicon Valley would not have been known with-
out your presence and contributions. With your presence
we have learned how to get along. And if anybody chal-
lenges you why you are here, be secure as we are there at
Begun in 2002, the IAMC has 10 chapters across the US.
As a run-up to its Republic Day celebrations, the Bay Area
chapter has for the past year been hosting an online video
contest. The organization received 71 entries.
Another highlight of the event was children in fancy
dress, many dressed as Indian freedom fighters.
Faisal Ahmad, 9, was dressed as Mahatma Gandhi; his
400 celebrate Republic Day in Houston consul general’s residence
United States Representative Pete Olson and
community leaders attended a flag-hoisting ceremony to celebrate India’s 63rd Republic Day at
the home of Sanjiv Arora, consul general of India
In the evening, Arora hosted a reception for
nearly 400 guests. Students of Swaralayam Arts
Forum and Anjali Arts Center presented dances
and songs. Vidushi Rajarajeswary Bhat and Ravi
Iyer, founding directors of Swaralayam, and Dr
Rathna Kumar, director, Anjali Arts Centre,
Houston, led the cultural program.
Dr Sunil Gadgil played the Indian and
American national anthems on the saxophone.
Gadgil, who obtained his PhD from the Butler
School of Music at the University of Texas,
Austin, teaches music at the Texas A & M
University, Prairie View.
The event honored Dr Kalpalatha K
Guntupalli, professor of medicine at the Baylor
College of Medicine in Houston. She had
received a Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award at
the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Jaipur last month.
Dancers with Consul General Sanjiv Arora, fifth from right
Consul General Sanjiv Arora, right, with Dr
Kalpalatha K Guntupalli
Dr Sunil Gadgil plays the Indian and American national anthems