Press Trust of India
August 20, 2012 16:34 IST
Thousands of Indian-Americans
gathered at Madison Avenue in Manhattan here for the annual
India day parade to commemorate the 66th independence day of
their homeland, with actor Saif Ali Khan and cricketer Anil
Kumble gracing the occasion as special guests.
The 32nd 'India Day Parade', held yesterday, has become a
regular fixture in the city's cultural scene and is one of the
biggest parades organised in the US to celebrate the Indian
Saif Ali Khan, dressed in a crisp white kurta-pyjama, was the
grand marshal of the parade and waved out to fans as the float
carrying him made its way through 10 blocks of Madison avenue.
A visibly delighted Saif said he was proud to be a
representative of India at the parade, adding that the event
was an opportunity for him to express his gratitude to his
fans in the US.
"Whatever fame we have is because of the movie industry
and I am happy to see such a massive outpouring of love here.
I want my fans in the US to know that we love them and are
thankful to them and I hope they continue to enjoy our films,"
The actor was accompanied by Indian Consul General Prabhu
Dayal. Anil Kumble, who was the guest of honour at the parade, said
it was a matter of pride for him to be part of one of the
biggest independence day events held outside India.
"Indians have made cricket popular in the US and I hope
America too becomes an important member of the cricketing
fraternity," he said.
The Cricket World T20 Trophy was also displayed at the
Apart from Indian-Americans, who had come from
neighbouring New Jersey and Connecticut to witness the parade,
several New Yorkers also stopped to look at India's cultural
heritage and diversity which was displayed through tableaux
and dance performances in the parade.
People waved the Indian flag and wore tri-colour sashes
as patriotic Indian music wafted through the air. Thousands of
Indians waited on the side of the roads to catch a glimpse of
Khan and Kumble during the nearly three-hour parade.
A contingent of the New York Police Department led the
parade, which is organised every year by the Federation of
Indian Associations. The parade is a culmination of various
events organised in the country to celebrate India's
On August 15, Dayal had rung the opening bell at the
Nasdaq Stock Exchange while Kumble rang the closing bell on
Friday. Several other parades and cultural events were
organised in cities like Dallas, Chicago and Boston to mark
Last year, Indian actress Rani Mukherjee was the grand
marshall of the parade. The other main attractions of the
parade were colourful floats, street fairs, food courts and
merchandise booths as well as cultural programmes by various