Maryland state legislature issues citation recognizing India’s 75th anniversary of Independence


The Maryland state legislature issued a citation on Monday recognizing the 75th anniversary of India’s independence from British colonial rule in 1947.

Adrienne Jones, the Speaker of Maryland’s House of Delegates, presented the citation at a celebratory event in Baltimore County on Saturday. The document recognized those who fought for Indian independence and how the nation “has shared with the world its unique and vibrant culture” during the past 75 years

“I wish you much success as you move toward your next milestone,” Jones said as she presented the citation to the International Society for Peace and Justice (ISPJ), a human rights nonprofit that organized the event.

Remembering India’s iconic freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi in the 20th century, Dr. Rehan Khan, ISPJ president, said “everybody came together to achieve independence” from British rule.

According to the ISPJ, Indian Americans from Maryland and Washington, D.C. joined the celebration, held at the New Life Healthy Living in Windsor Mill, to hear from distinguished speakers on India’s history as a democratic and pluralist nation, and partake in music and dinner.

Other human rights organizations joined the event, such as the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) and the Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America (FIACONA).

“India’s Constitution guaranteed there would be no discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, color or sex,” Ajit Sahi, IAMC Advocacy Director, said. “India was, is, and will be a pluralist nation that belongs to everybody.”

“We are facing a time in India, after 75 years of India’s freedom, when a few people have acquired power, and the majority of the people do not have the capacity to resist,” Sahi said.

He cited Gandhi’s remarks from 1925 on the concept of “swaraj,” or self-rule: “Real swaraj will come, not by the acquisition of authority by a few, but by the acquisition of the capacity by all to resist authority when it is abused.”

Dr. Sangeeta Simlote performed a number of patriotic Indian songs to the delight of the audience. She closed the evening with India’s national anthem, “Jana Gana Mana.” She expressed her love for the US and pride “to be in America as Indians.” “We respect everybody,” she said. “Human beings are valued here, like nowhere else.”