By Arun Kumar Washington, July 9 (Agency)
Two leading associations of Indian Americans celebrated the American Independence Day and Indian American Heritage by paying tribute to the pioneers and patriots of the two nations.
The July 4 event was organised by India Association of Los Angeles (IALA) in collaboration with Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) at Royal Delhi Palace Indian Restaurant, West Hills, California.
"If we, Indian Americans, want others to know about us, then we must first know who we are," said GOPIO chairman Inder Singh, who co-coordinated the seminar at the Independence Day event.
IALA president Gursharan Nat said the association which has been celebrating the Indian Independence and Republic Days every year will from now also mark July 4 in celebration of America's independence and as a tribute to Indian American pioneers.
Topics covered at the seminar included America's war for Independence and its Heroes; Early Indian Immigration and Settlement Problems; Struggle for US Citizenship and Indian Community's Contributions to India and USA.
Joyce Pearson, a candidate for the Los Angeles City Council, recalled the sacrifices of American heroes, patriots and pioneers in the struggle for gaining independence from the British.
Kewal Kanda of the Federation of Indian Associations recounted the problems faced by early Indian immigrants, while Ashok Madan spoke of the struggle which Indians had to wage in getting the right of citizenship in America.
Dinesh Lakhanpal of IALA stressing the necessity of getting involved in the political process in America suggested active involvement of the Indian community to gain political empowerment.
Dilip Butani of the Indian Community of Southern California spoke about the many contributions of Indian Americans to their motherland as also to the country of their adoption.
IALA Chairman Bobby Kumar thanked the speakers saying that history of Indians in the United States could only be taught through such seminars.