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Coming to US in 2011: A 'Festival of India'

January 27, 2010 11:44 IST

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations will organise a 'Festival of India' in the United States in 2011 in recognition of the growing Indo-US relations, ICCR chief Virendra Gupta informed on Tuesday.

During a reception for the community at the Indian Consulate in New York to mark the 60th anniversary of India's Republic Day, Gupta said that culture connects all and that is why ICCR has taken the decision to organise the festival in the US to deepen the ties between the two countries, more than 25 years after such a festival was showcased in the United States.

'The ICCR, which is the primary instrument of the Government of India for cultural diplomacy, has decided to organize an India festival in the US in recognition of the fact that Indo-US relationship has become a very vibrant one, which is extremely important for us. Cultural diplomacy must commensurate with the vibrancy of the evolving bilateral relationship,' Gupta said.

'I know there are Indo-American organizations here who have always supported us and I thank them. I hope we will also be able to rely on them to take our festival to various major cities in America,' Gupta said, adding that the ICCR is yet to develop the detail programmes.

'The ICCR will send you all the information through the Consulate and I hope that the Indian American cultural organisations would come forward to provide us support in developing the festival,' he said.

About 200 people from the community as well as a number of lawmakers and officials from New Jersey and New York, including NJ Assembly Speaker Sheila Y Oliver, the first black woman speaker of the state, Assembly deputy speaker Upendra Chivukula, assembly majority whip John F McKeon, Senate minority leader Thomas H Kean Jr and NJ secretary of Agriculture Douglas H Fisher attended the celebration.

Suman Guha Mozumder in New York