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January 30, 2008 > Celebration of Democracy

Celebration of Democracy

By William Marshak

Democracy remains firmly entrenched as the political ideal of the United States of America. This once radical idea has not only survived the upheavals of human endeavor and civilization but, despite continuation and reemergence of autocratic rule, thrives in many parts of the world. Filled with elements of chaos, political power that emanates from the common people rather than a selected few is often dismissed as an unattainable goal. However, the idea persists and is celebrated in countries that have managed to continuously practice and strive toward its realization as a viable political format.

A large population of Indo-Americans resides in the Greater Tri-City area sharing a common cultural and political perspective toward the concept of a democratic society with most others living in the United States of America. In recognition of this bond and honoring the birth of India as a republic (August 15, 1947) 60 years ago, the Federation of Indo-Americans of Northern California hosted a "Celebration of Democracy" on Sunday, January 27 at the Newark Pavilion. Amid the relaxed atmosphere of a local family gathering, the underlying serious subject of supporting democratic institutions at all levels was addressed.

Following a social hour and anthems of both the United States of America and India, the program began as children performed traditional Indian dances. FIA president Dr. Romesh Japra noted in a press release that the celebration will "strengthen our resolve to work together for the good of India, the United States and the secular and democratic principles that both nations hold sacred." An additional statement by Chandru Bhahmbra, Chairman, FIA Northern California echoed Dr. Japra's comments. Bhahmbra noted that this type of celebration "promotes democracy and freedom." Community leaders were presented awards to commemorate these sentiments. 2008 recipients included Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, the League of Women Voters (Fremont, Newark, Union City), Fremont Board of Education Trustee Peggy Herndon and Community Activist Ro Khanna.

According to FIA member Yogi Chugh, Federation of Indo-Americans of Northern California is the umbrella organization of different cultural, social, religious, educational and political associations that has served the community for more than 20 years. Let freedom ring!

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