Indian Independence Day celebrations marked by solemn pledges to protect pluralism
Indian American Muslims organize celebratory event in Florida; participate in protests against targeting of Dalits and minorities in the name of cow protection
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2016
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos today joined millions of people in India and around the world, in celebrating India’s 70th Independence Day. Activists and community members across the US marked the occasion by resolving to continue the struggle for justice, and for defending pluralism in India.
A celebratory event was organized by IAMC in Florida on August 14th, the eve of the Independence Day, with participation from broad sections of the Indian American community, including Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs. In the days leading up to Independence Day, IAMC volunteers and office bearers participated in protests against increasing attacks on Dalits and other minorities in India. The event included a flag hoisting ceremony at Gandhi Square in Fort Lauderdale.
“IAMC congratulates all Indians and people of Indian origin on this joyous occasion of India’s 70th Independence Day. Indeed, India has made great strides in many areas of endeavor since breaking free from British rule. However, Independence Day is also a sober reminder of how far we have come from our founding principles, with the increasing assaults on pluralism and the secular ethos of our constitution,” said Mr. Umar Malick, President of IAMC. “The deepening divides in Indian society along caste and religious lines demand that all people of conscience join hands to engage in yet another freedom struggle; the struggle to free India from caste discrimination and violations of religious freedom,” added Mr. Malick.
In Florida, Mr. Victor Swaroop, the President of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) was one of the chief guests and a keynote speaker. A community activist and founding member of Gandhi Square, Mr. Swaroop shared how he lives by Mahatma Gandhi’s motto, “In order to find yourself, lose yourself in the service of others.”
Imam Zakaria, another keynote speaker, reminded the audience of how Indian Muslims were an integral part of India’s freedom struggle, and read out a long list of prominent Muslims who made the ultimate sacrifice for India’s Independence.
The celebration was marked with festivities and the singing of songs expressing deep love for India and its people.
Indian-American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information, please visit our website at: https://iamc.com
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1) Full Text: President Pranab Mukherjee’s speech on the eve of Independence Day