AIA hosts National Honor Banquet and Celebration of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence


Our Bureau
New York, NY

The Association of Indians in America (AIA National) hosted 25th Honor Banquet and the celebration of the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence in a beautiful venue at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows Park, New York. The celebration of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence was in keeping with the Indian Government’s yearlong celebrations. The Honor Banquet was attended by 250 distinguished AIA members and esteemed guests in a sold house.

The Honor Banquet was graced by the presence of US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mayor of New York City Mr. Eric Adams. Consul General of India at New York Randhir Jaiswal graced the occasion as Chief guest. He was accompanied by his wife Dr Abha Jaiswal. NYS Assemblywoman Jennifer Rajkumar also graced the occasion.

The program started with invocation and American & Indian National Anthem followed by classical dance performance by Maheshwari Jagabattula on A.R. Rahman’s Vande Mataram song.

AIA National President Gobind Munjal in his remarks thanked his dedicated team in making this 25th Honor Banquet a grand success. He talked about India’s culture and values and the progress made by Indian Americans to fully assimilate in the main stream America. He remarked, “Indians in America bring distinct vision, values, needs and goals and we and our next generations should fully assimilate and participate in the political system and take active role in shaping the future of this great country.”

Gobind Munjial Speaking at the event

AIA honored two very distinguished individuals with “Honor Award” for their outstanding achievements.

Among the Individuals honored were:

Arvind Panagariya, Ph.D. Professor of Economics and Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy in the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University since January 2004. From January 2015 to August 2017, he served as the first Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog, Government of India think tank. He in his keynote speech outlined India’s journey for the upcoming 25 years.

And Ms Renu Khator, Ph. D Chancellor and President of the University of Houston, Texas. She has broken boundaries and glass ceilings, as she became the first female chancellor in the state of Texas and the first Indian immigrant to lead a comprehensive research university in the U.S.

Consul General Randhir Jaiswal spoke about further strengthening the relationship and ties between India and United States of America.

Senate majority Leader Chuck Schumer in his remarks said that he wants to share a few takeaways from his trip to India that impact America’s national security and economic future of both countries. India and America are natural allies, as the two biggest democratic countries in a world filled with tension and warfare. He went on to say that India is an amazing — incredible country and was enthralled by it. He remarked “Our partnership has a huge potential for growth in the 21st century.”

Chuck Schumer speaking at the gathering

NYC Mayor Eric Adams in his remarks said “I like the Indian culture, tradition, values, the education and close family system and I like you to retain and enrich mainstream America. I also want you to fully participate in the political system by getting everybody to register to vote and put forward candidates to have your voice heard.”

Banquet Committee Chair, Dr Buddhadev Manvar thanked everyone for making today’s celebrations a huge success.

Chair Board of Trustees Dr Samin Sharma congratulated AIA National President and the team for executing such an exciting and hugely successful Honor Banquet and congratulated the Honorees.

Plaque was presented to Mount Sinai COO Mr. Jonathan Kyriacou.                                                                                                                                                                                 

The evening was filled with lot of enthusiasm and sumptuous dinner. Live Band entertained the guests and everybody was dancing. Nilima Madan and Gunjan Rastogi as co-masters of ceremony perfectly executed the evening.

The Association of Indians in America (AIA) is the oldest not-for-profit organization of Asian Indians established in 1967. It is the grassroots national organization of Asian immigrants in the United States. With chapters and membership spread across the United States of America, AIA represents the hopes and aspirations of those immigrants who are united by their common bond of Indian Heritage and American Commitment.

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