On September 11, Times Square, New York — Indian American organizations, in association with the Federation of Indian Associations(FIA) of NY-NJ-CTNE, held a non-religious, non-political gathering to lodge a community protest against the recent series of hate crime episodes. Community representatives also expressed concern over the recent and multiple brazen attacks on Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in New York City and other US cities. A moment of silence and prayers were held to pay tribute to the victims and to the heroes, who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us all safe.

Present at the occasion were Hon. Consul General of India in NY Randhir Jaiswal, Hon. Deputy Consul General in NY Dr. Varun Jeph, Jaipur Foot USA Chairman Prem Bhandari, FIA President Kenny Desai, FIA Chairman Ankur Vaidya and Chairman of Bihar Foundation of North America Alok Kumar amongst others. Jaiswal paid his tribute to the victims of 9/11. He also emphasized the need to renew our commitment and resolve to be vigilant against hate crimes and terrorism and to embrace peace-filled harmony and nonviolence, fondly known as the Father of the Nation in India.

Prem Bhandari said that there is a lot to learn from the values that Mahatma Gandhi embodies and strongly condemned the recent incidents of vandalism where the statue of the great global leader was desecrated and destroyed. He demanded strict action by the government to punish those responsible.

FIA President Kenny Desai said that there is nothing better than a peaceful march to convey our protest and bring the issue to the attention of concerned authorities as they continue to look the other way and take no major steps to address the issue.

FIA Chairman Vaidya said that as we remember and honor those who lost their lives on this day; we should work peacefully with a committed resolve to abolish extremism and hate-crime. Prayers and hymns were offered during the solemn affair.

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