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Indian Independence Celebrations

Program for Indian Independence Celebration exhibition organized by the Students Association of India in Los Angeles and held on August 13, 1949. The contents of the program describe the initial conception of the exhibition, and the back page provides a list of participants.

Independence Day

Date: August 13, 1949
Language: English
Creator: Students Association of India
Location: Casa de Rosas, 2600 South Hoover Street, Los Angeles, CA

WHY YOU ARE HERE Some three months ago a group of Indian students sat at the Indian restaurant in Hollywood. Their talk drifted onto the subject of Independence Day – August 15. Various ideas were suggested about suitably celebrating it. One of them was a strongly felt desire to show India – her past, present and future – in a highly condensed form showing enough of the highlights to enable you to better appreciate the achievements and problems of our faraway land and also perhaps in some cases to help kindle an interest which would prove to be an enduring and priceless link in the understanding between our two peoples. Also evident that evening was a strong desire amongst all those students to dramatize India’s two years of freedom, to give expression in some form to their pride in what independent India has achieved in those hundred weeks an to show the projects under construction or consideration which when completed (within the next two decades) will transform India into an increasingly prosperous and happy land. Furthermore, also evident, was a desire to show some of India’s difficulties and the magnitude of her problems in order to enable you to better appreciate them. Out of this discussion was born the idea of this exhibition. Like all embryos it has grown and grown until in its form as you will see it today it comprises maps, photos, graphs, diagrams, examples of India’s jewelry, handicrafts, brassware, ivorywork, textiles and others. The result has been achieved by Indian students at the various colleges and universities in the Los Angeles area, ably and in some cases, invaluably, assisted by American students who gave unstintingly of their time. None of them would claim to be experts in the art of presenting an exhibition of this nature or even in the matter of graphic representation. Their major courses of study in this country have rather been either chemical engineering, or perhaps business administration or sociology or cinema. We started with one fundamental principle – that no matter what a person’s interest in life, be it architecture, history, industry, politics, music, or just travel – he or she would find something of immediate interest here. It is hoped that you will be able to confirm this. As guests in your hospitable country we have endeavored by today’s and tomorrow’s events to express our thanks. On another and later occasion the Indian students who come after us may perhaps think of another way of doing so. For ourselves, we do not by any means consider that we have turned out today is by any means complete or perfect. It is our intention after Independence Day to convert this into something of a semi-permanent nature which can be sent ‘on the road’. When we do so we shall undoubtedly add, change and later the exhibition. Already ideas have cropped up too late for incorporation on the present occasion such as ‘Indian Sports’ and ‘A Day I the life of an Indian farmer’. One last word. Those of you might like to make something more permanent of today’s experience are more than welcome to contact the STUDENTS ASSOCIATION OF INDIA, P.O. Box 144, LOS ANGELES 7, CALIFORNIA. We shall keep you on our mailing list and supply you with any information you want or assist you in whatever way we can. In the cause of peace and understanding amongst nations and brotherhood between individuals, the Indian students of Los Angeles welcome each of you here today.

Collection: Mahesh and Ishwar Chandra Family Materials
Donor: Rani Bagai
Item History: 2013-01-17 (created); 2013-08-27 (modified)

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