A leading diaspora group in the US will hoist India's National Flag at the Times Square this week, the first time the Indian tricolour will be unfurled at the iconic New York City destination.
The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) of the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut said in a statement that it “will be creating history” on August 15, 2020 by “hosting the first ever flag hoisting ceremony at Times Square” to commemorate India's Independence Day.
“It will be the first time ever that India's tricolour will be unfurled at the iconic venue in all its glory,” the organisation said, adding that Consul General of India in New York Randhir Jaiswal will be the Guest of Honour at the event.
The FIA said this year's Independence Day celebrations will include the flag-hoisting ceremony at Times Square and the annual tradition of illuminating the Empire State Building in hues of the tricolour - orange, white and green.
The Empire State lighting ceremony will be held on August 14.
“The Times Square flag hoisting ceremony is a testament to the Indian-American community's growing patriotism and is a fitting tribute to the FIA which is celebrating its golden jubilee year,” the organisation said.
Established in 1970, the FIA is among the largest umbrella diaspora organisations.
In July, Ankur Vaidya was appointed the FIA Chairman, succeeding prominent Indian-American community leader Ramesh Patel who passed away due to complications from coronavirus.
Vaidya, 40, has been long associated with the FIA and was the President of the umbrella diaspora organisation for the year 2014. He is the youngest member of the Board and the youngest to be chosen as its chairman.
The Consulate General of India in New York will host a virtual Independence Day celebration on August 15 in which it has invited "members of the Indian community and friends of India" for the commemoration that will be live streamed.
The FIA annually organises its flagship event - the India Day Parade to mark India's Independence Day in August.
Top US political leaders, lawmakers as well as prominent members of the Indian-American community and celebrities from India have participated in the annual parade that draws a crowd of thousands in the heart of Manhattan each year.
This year, however, the parade will not be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.