Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) — among the leading diaspora organisation in the US – has set two Guinness World Records. One, “for the most number of different flags flown simultaneously” and second, “for the largest ensemble of the ancient musical instrument, damru.” The twin feats were accomplished as it celebrated Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, on August 15 and August 21 respectively.
Every year, thousands of people from the Indian diaspora converge in the heart of Manhattan in their traditional finery to celebrate August 15. The day-long celebration includes special food stalls, cultural extravaganza and floats by various organisations based in the US. This year, more than 1,500 volunteers registered for the event on the FIA website. The organisation, in a statement on Sunday, declared that it attempted the records to commemorate the completion of 75 years of Indian Independence.
A 220 ft-long majestic khadi tricolor was flown over Hudson Bay. Pan-India mega star, Allu Arjun, along with New York City mayor and a host of other dignitaries led the annual India Day Parade along Madison Avenue.
The FIA’s India Day Parade is considered the largest parade outside India to mark the country’s Independence and brings together thousands of members of the diaspora for one of the biggest cultural extravaganzas in the US. It runs through several streets of Madison Avenue in the heart of Manhattan, featuring tableaux by various Indian-American organisations, marching bands, police contingents and cultural performances by young Indian-American children.
In a statement, FIA president Kenny Desai held out that the records salute the vision and efforts of the Indian PM. “We want our motherland to shine in our homeland,” he added.
According to Ankur Vaidya, FIA chairman, these records are dedicated to the global community, “and without the support of the global diaspora this feat would not have been possible.” On the same note, secretary Pravin Bansal lauded the massive efforts by the FIA volunteers who “worked hard over the past few months.”