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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2960

Sarath Kumar, Radika to attend India Day Parade in New York - Singular Honor to couple as first time stars from South India is attending

New York, 30 July, (

Sarath Kumar, Radika Sarath Kumar, Bollywood actress Vidya Balan and Gandhian Anna Hazare are among the celebrities invited to participate in the India Day Parade organized by Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) –New York and New Jersey chapter – in Manhattan, New York on Aug 18.

Sanjay Amin, President of FIA (NY-NJ) said Sarath Kumar who is also the president of South Indian Artists Association and a sitting MLA from Tamil Nadu and his wife Radika Sarath Kumar, well-known television and movie actress will march as Parade Marshals at the India Day Parade, dubbed as the largest Independence Day Parade outside India. Vidya Balan is designated as grand marshal of the parade, considered one of the colorful events of New York. The event will be telecast live by Times Now all over the world.

This in the first time in the history of 43-year-old Federation of Indian Associations that stars from South India are being invited to be Parade Marshals of the India Day Parade and the honor goes to Sarath Kumar and Radikha. They will walk along the streets of Madison Avenue in Manhattan holding Indian Flag along with New York Mayor, Governor, Indian Ambassador, US Congressmen and American politicians and Indian leaders.

In New York, Sarath Kumar and Radika will also attend a grand reception to be hosted in their honor by the Indian Consul General Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay on Aug 20 in the Consulate Ballroom to mark the formal launch of America Tamil Sangam to be headed by noted journalist Prakash M Swamy, formerly of Junior Vikatan and India Today of Chennai. Several top Tamilians of the US such as Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico, Night Shyamalan, Hollywood director, Kumari Kamala, ace dancer and Sri Srinivasan, Judge of US Appellate Court are expected to attend the event.

Sarath Kumar and Radhika will be given the honor of doing the opening bell at Nasdaq Stock Exchange in Times Square, Manhattan at 9 am on Aug 19 in honor of Indian Independence Day celebrations as many IT companies are listed in Nasdaq.

The couple will also address an international media conference in Manhattan on Aug 16 evening along with celebrities attending the parade and talk about their movie and social experience.

The couple will be decorated with the highest honors and awards of the US Congress at a gala event to be organized by America Tamil Sangam and Shri Vari Foundation in Flushing in Queenson Aug 23 for their contribution to Indian Cinema. Several high-ranking US Congressman, elected representatives and officials are expected to attend the honor Sarath Kumar and Radika on this occasion. The couple will be conferred with some of the decorated honors of the US Government.

Also those who will join the celebrities at the parade on Aug 18 this year include Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Dr. Baldwin Spencer and former Chief of Army Staff Gen. V.K. Singh. The President of Guyana Bharat Jagdeo and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad-Bissessar were guests of honor in the past years to celebrate India’s Independence Day in New York, he said.

The 43-year-old premier Indian-American organization has been holding India Day Parade for the past 33 years in the streets of Manhattan to promote and project India in mainstream America. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao, New York Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay and US Senators and Congressmen are expected to join the Indian celebrities as in the past years, Sanjay Amin said.

The celebrities who had led the parade in the past years include Amitabh Bachchan, Raj Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan, Dev Anand, Rajender Kumar, Anil Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Saif Ali Khan, Hema Malini, Madhuri Dixit , AR Rahman to name a few. Other non-filmi celebrities who led the parade include astronaut Sunita Williams, Anil Kumble, Vijay Mallya and Pandit Jasraj.

“We are a non-profit and non-political organization. We are inviting Anna Hazare as a true and senior most Gandhian of India and certainly not interfering in Indian politics. We represent motherIndia without any caste or regional bias. There will not be any political speeches. To disprove that the organization is North India-centric, we had invited celebrities like A R Rahman in the past and this year all the three Indian celebrities – Vidya Balan, Sarath Kumar and Radika – are from the South,” Amin said.

According to Ankur Vaidya, treasurer and media coordinator, the New York Police Department (NYPD) had estimated about 140,000 people had gathered last year on either side of the Madison Avenue and at the cultural program venue. There will be marching bands and procession of 40 floats depicting Indian culture and represented by various Indian and American companies.

The 103-floor high Empire State Building a New York City and a National Historic iconic landmark celebrates many cultures and causes in the world community with special lighting. For the past few years, it joins in the festivities of FIA by switching on tricolor tower lights to recognize the Indian independence celebrations. The stars will be honored by the Empire State Building Board on the occasion.

There will be cultural shows, dance and music by local artists and children after the celebrities gathered at the review stand to wave to the cheering crowd, Vaidya said.

This year’s highlight includes erection of a replica of Red Fort on 80 feet by 10 feet area in Manhattan near the parade route to showcase India. The Madison Avenue is closed during the parade for vehicular traffic by the City of New York to enable people to join the revelries.

- Asian Tribune -

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