On a beautiful Sunday August 14 afternoon, our community gathered at the hilltop of the Anubhuti Meditation & Retreat Center to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independent India. The event was jointly hosted by the Brahma Kumaris of San Francisco, North Bay Indo-American Association (NBIAA) and the North Bay Hindu Center (NBHC) and internationally organized as a part of the Government of India's 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.'
The program was in the presence of Novato Mayor Eric Lucan, who participated in the flag hoisting and tree planting, apart from dancing and live music.
NBHC had a special presence with our very own Secretary Jayashree Ayyar singing Jana Gana Mana as the tricolor was unfurled, followed by our NBHC Youth presenting the story of three freedom fighters, and culminating with a resounding speech on the day's importance by President Radhika Sitaraman.
Full photo album can be seen at the bottom after the video presentations.
Jana Gana Mana
Jayashree Ayyar led the event with the singing of Jana Gana Mana as the tricolor flag of India was unfurled with confetti. Standing with her were leaders of NBHC, NBIAA and the Brahma Kumaris, along with the Novato Mayor Eric Lucan.
NBHC Youth Present India's Freedom Fighters
We were graced with the presence of V. Chidambaram Pillai (presented by Shravan Sundaram), Rani Laxmibai (presented by Nitya Vetsa) and Vijayalakshmi Pandit (presented by Dhanya Subramanian). NBHC is proud of our Youth and especially this instance where they get to learn and share the knowledge of their ancestral home's forefathers in full costume and spirit.
Vande Mataram - I Praise the Motherland
Radhika Sitaraman reminded us to invoke our Bharat Mata in order to fulfill the idea of a modern India:
Namaste, my name is Radhika Sitaraman and I am the president of the North Bay Hindu Center. We are honored to be part of today’s celebrations alongside the Brahmakumaris and the North Bay Indo-American Association graciously hosted by the Anubhuti Retreat Center to observe and commemorate 75 years of India's independence and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements.
Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, means the elixir of energy of independence but let us not forget that what we call Amrit or nectar/elixir was the product of decades of struggle, resistance and determination, to unite the vast diversity of the Indian subcontinent to say in one voice Vande Mataram- I praise the motherland.
India is now recognized as the world’s largest democracy, largely because of the efforts of the many freedom fighters, freedom movements and visionaries who have worked hard to make India a land to be proud of – a land that we who are here in these United States, our adopted country, can proudly say is our land of origin.
Today, sisters and brothers, let us take this opportunity to offer our pranaam to the motherland, to Bharat Mata. And we invoke her grace to awaken ourselves to fulfill the idea of a modern India that reaches for the clouds while remaining grounded to its rich culture and traditions. That no matter who we are, where in the world we may be, or what we do, we should honor our sacred past, recognize our oneness that is mentioned throughout the scriptures, and continuously improve ourselves and our community by remembering the great nation we have come from. We praise Her - our Bharat Mata - with folded hands.
Jhanda ooncha rahe hamara vijayi vishwa tiranga pyara
May our beloved tricolor fly high and fly free