IAMC joins Indian Independence Day parade in New Jersey; celebrates alongside fellow Indian Americans
New Jersey (August 14, 2023) – Members of the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) participated in an annual Indian Independence Day parade in Edison, New Jersey alongside fellow Indian Americans of diverse backgrounds.
Dressed in traditional clothing and waving several Indian flags, members from IAMC’s New Jersey chapter – including children and families – joined the NJ diaspora community in celebration of India’s 76th year of independence. IAMC members also marched in tribute to the rich legacy of India’s 200 million Muslims, who played a pivotal role in India’s freedom struggle and continue to contribute to Indian culture, entertainment, society and defense of democracy.
IAMC was introduced by the parade’s MCs as an advocacy group “guided by a passionate commitment to justice, civil rights, and harmony,” and members were invited onto the stage for a photo opportunity. Other Indian diaspora groups also joined the parade, including Indian Christians, Dalits, and members of Hindus for Human Rights.
The parade was organized by the Indian Business Association, which this year took precautions to avoid divisive symbolism and maintain harmony throughout the event after a bulldozer, representing the demolition of Muslim-owned homes in India, was included in last year’s parade.
“Last year, we saw this same event divided by hateful imagery,” said Tazeem Ansari, a member of IAMC’s NJ chapter. “This year, we joined the parade to pay tribute to the real values of India: peace, tolerance, and love for the diversity that makes the nation so beautiful.”
“Our heartfelt thanks goes out to Mayor John McCormac and the police departments of Edison and Woodbridge for listening to their communities and ensuring that the parade remained a safe space for all,” Ansari added. “We also appreciate the support we received from spectators of the parade.”
“We’re far from deterred by the efforts of certain people, both in India and in the US, who are trying to erase the rich legacy of Indian Muslims and other minorities. We’re proud of who we are. We’re not going anywhere,” said Mohammed Jawad, a New Jersey resident and President of IAMC National.