BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Photos by Hemant Shah, Magic Dust Photography
Atlanta, GA, February 10, 2023: A cold dreary morning notwithstanding, over 250 folks gathered at the ICRC auditorium to celebrate the 74th Republic Day on Jan 21, 2023, hosted by India American Cultural Organization (IACA).
Chief guests of the event included Consul Hon. Mr. Madan Ghildiya from Indian Consulate, and Chief of Cobb County Board of Commissioners Jerica Richardson. Invited guests included Prof. S. Rashid Naim, Principal Senior Lecturer, Political Sciences, GSU, Ayub Khan, Indian Air Force veteran Wing Cmdr. and Dr. Indran B. Indrakrishnan . Gwinnett Digestive Clinic, PC.
“I’m honored to coordinate this event,” Geetanjali Talukdar, EVP, IACA, said. The program kicked off with the hoisting of the American National Flag by the guests followed by the rendition of the Star-spangled banner by Ananya Muni.
As per Indian tradition, Talukdar applied the ceremonial ‘Teeka’ on the forehead of all the guests and welcomed them to the event.
Kaushal Tripathi, President, IACA welcomed all the guests and provided an overview of the goals and objectives of IACA followed by the Anurag (Ani) Agnihotri, Chairman, BOD, IACA, who highlighted the accomplishments of IACA in the last few years.
The Constitution was adopted officially by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949. Why do we celebrate our Republic Day on January 26, then? “On January 26,1930, the historic “Poorna Swaraj” declaration was officially promulgated, beginning the final phase of India’s freedom struggle where the goal would be complete independence from British rule,” Consul Ghildiya explained.
“We are celebrating something that we all hold precious in our hearts and beyond the Constitution – the idea of a republic that each person has a role to play in our society. One that connects us. We must continue to celebrate the republic, to stay connected, to build friendships, to strengthen them, so that we can continue to thrive and our families,” Richardson said.
“The very strength of the Constitution allows a very diverse group of people to work and function together. And I think that is the genius of the people.”
“We talked about unique qualities of our people. We talked about the visionaries who took India forward, about the scientific achievements, and the strength of our military. But one thing rarely gets our attention. And that is our Constitution. None of this would have been possible if our constitution was not drawn the way it was. The very strength of the Constitution allows a very diverse group of people to work and function together. And I think that is the genius of the people who put the constitution together,” Prof. Naim said underlining the importance of the constitution.
Anchored by Sneha Gupta, the event featured dance performances by Dance Academies including Nupur Dance Academy, Kalashram school of Kathak dance NNKB and Garima’s school of Dance who entertained the audience.
Talented singers of Atlanta, Prithvi Bhorali, Lavanya Muni, Atanu Das, and Arunabha Majumdar delighted the crowd with their renditions of patriotic songs.
“It is gratifying to see an in-person Republic Day Celebration at IACA with participation from young dancers and singers,” Chand Akkineni, BOD, IACA, said
Concluding the program, IACA thanked all the performers, the audience and the team who put up this beautiful program, especially Anamika Pol, Secretary of IACA, Executive Committee and requested all the guests to proceed to the dining hall for a sumptuous lunch arranged by IACA for all the guests.