BUENA PARK, CA – India’s Republic Day was celebrated with patriotic fervor at an event hosted by the United Federation of India-Americans of California (UFICA) at the Amaya Restaurant here on Feb 5. Amidst patriotic music UFICA committee members marched around the restaurant, waving the Indian Tricolor,
Royce received a warm welcome being introduced by K.V. Kumar as “ PM Modi’s best friend in Congress.’ Focusing on one of his biggest achievements Royce who has been four times chair, spoke of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans and how starting with just 8 members, he helped build the Caucus to become one of the largest in the House, with over 180 members today. He spoke of being instrumental in strengthening Indo-US relations to where they are today, the strongest they have ever been and how he has been pushing for a bipartisan caucus to strengthen ties even more. On Republic-Day he said, we celebrate the Indian Constitution and the US Constitution their similarities and belief in political pluralism. He lauded the Indian-American community for the strides they have made in education and entrepreneurship and promised to work to liberalize trade and investment between the two countries to reach the $500 billion goal.
Young Kim expressing her appreciation for the Indian-American community said they were very dear to her and had started making friends in the community 20 years ago. She attributed this to her association with Royce whom she had worked under. This had helped pave the way for her to understand issues and concerns of the community. As Vice Chair of the Jobs and Economic Development Committee she assured that she would do her best to enhance trade between India and the US and India and California and thanked the community for its contribution to the local and state economy. She presented a certificate of recognition to UFICA. Naresh Solanki lauded UFICA’s efforts in keeping the R-Day celebrations tradition alive for 11 years. He also expressed gratitude to the community for helping him get elected to the Cerritos City Council last year when he became the first elected Indian-American on the council. Alka Patel and Vinod Dudheker addressed the audience bringing to the fore the motto of the organization which is to serve the community and continue the legacy of preserving India’s culture and traditions. To this end, UFICA has been celebrating India’s Republic Day and Independence Day since 2005. It has also been partnering with various charities to help in disasters. They thanked and recognized the sponsors. Rangesh Gadasalli spoke on the significance of R- Day and the Indian Constitution revealing an interesting fact that India has the longest Constitution in the world running into over 800 pages! Emcee for the evening was Ajit Dudheker while Ashok Patnaik introduced the special invitees.
A cultural program peppered with Bollywood and Classical dance and music showcased the talent of the youth.