Supporters of farmers’ issue protest at IDP New York


IDP president Deepak Bansal condemns failure of law enforcement

Our Bureau
New York

The India Day Parade was held on August 8, 2021, at Hicksville in Long Island, New York.  However, before the parade started, a condition was imposed on the participating Indian Overseas Congress (IOC) USA group not to raise any issue of the farmer’s agitation in Delhi in the parade – a development which totally disappointed almost all the over 100 participants who had already gathered at a location nearby the starting point of the parade, according to a statement from IOC.

“Indian Overseas Congress, USA threw its support behind the cause of the protesting farmers in India and objected to the heavy-handed approach of the India Day Parade organizers in Long Island to stifle dissent,” said President Mohinder Singh Gilzian. “This celebration is about freedom, and it is a fundamental right of people to express one’s opinion without fear of repercussions.”

“The Government of India’s stonewalling to the concerns of the farmers is not what one expects from a true democracy,” said George Abraham, Vice-Chairman of the IOCUSA. “The current government is only interested in protecting the interests of the crony capitalists,” Abraham added.

Secretary-General Harbachan Singh pointed out that after almost ten months of a peaceful demonstration by the farmers in a gathering which is said to be so large and prolonged that it broke not only records in India’s recent history but perhaps the world – way more than 600 people had also lost their lives.  Both the demonstrators and their families back home are not only suffering both physically and economically under the Covid-19 pandemic but also acutely enduring the record-breaking severe cold, floods and burning hot weather conditions.” 

Chants to the Prime Minister to settle the issues of the farmers were loud and incessant.  Even the heavy downpour of rain could not drown out their thunderous voices and their strong punches into the air. 

At the same time, solemn allegiance to Mother India was repeatedly orchestrated by all with fervent respect and love.  Chairman of Punjab Chapter Satish Sharma, President of Punjab Chapter, Gurmit S. Gill, President of Haryana Chapter Amar Singh Gulshan, President of Kerala Chapter Ms. Leela Merat, and other IOC (USA) leaders also addressed the gathering.          

In a statement President Deepak Bansal of India Day Parade, New York, condemned the attempt to disrupt the historic event. “I am extremely hurt and disappointed on the behavior or my own brethren especially on a day when we celebrate our Independence Day and pay respects to the freedom fighters. We are 8,000 miles away from our motherland and this is the day when we all need to hold hands and be together. I had been told by some friends to expect some miscreants to create trouble. I had few meetings with police department and gave them heads up. They had promised to handle it amicably,” Bansal said in a statement.  

“I also had a call with that group from a leading political party and promised to allocate space in the parade to join and celebrate. This event is beyond party line and beyond any particular cause except to pay homage to our patriotic elders who got us independence. We want to pass the legacy to the next generation,” he added.  

Bansal was critical of law enforcement agencies of failing to stop the disruption. “To my disappointment, the group and police department both let us down. The groups chose to scream and shout at the parade. They wanted to speak from the stage and I had no issues but it was not to vent their grievances and to protest. I wish they had handled it better and found better ways for their voice,” the IDP chief said.  

“But I am grateful to everyone in community and my committee to make a historical parade especially after pandemic. Jai Hind.”

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