Mumbai: Tonight the U.S. Consulate General Mumbai celebrated the 239th anniversary of U.S. independence at the Taj Lands End Hotel. Guest of Honor and iconic Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan as well as Chief GuestSumit Mullick, Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary and Chief Protocol Officer, joined U.S. Consul General in Mumbai Tom Vajda in marking the special occasion. The evening featured a “Hollywood” theme to celebrate U.S.-India ties in film and entertainment.
Consul General Vajda, reflecting upon the achievements of the U.S.-India relationship during the past year, said, “The many high-level exchanges, including President Obama’s visit to India for the Republic Day celebrations, served to deepen the U.S.-India partnership on a wide range of issues. I have seen some of the progress firsthand right here in western India—from American companies opening new factories to ‘Make in India,’ to the United States serving as a Partner Country in Vibrant Gujarat for the first time, to a record surge in visa applications by Indians traveling to the United States. I am confident the U.S.-India relationship will thrive based on our strong people-to-people ties and shared values.”
Mr. Bachchan called the holiday an auspicious occasion and praised its Hollywood theme, saying, “Cinema to me has always been a great integrator of communities.” The box office does not discriminate based on caste, creed, or color.
The event commemorated the adoption of the United States’ Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, and its subsequent 239-year history as the world’s oldest democracy. Since India is the world’s largest democracy, guests celebrated the common commitment to democratic values and freedoms and a shared future made possible through an ever closer U.S.-India friendship, or “dosti.”
Coinciding with the Hollywood theme for the evening, guests were treated to a red carpet entrance to the venue and enjoyed décor of classic and current U.S. movies. A live band performed hit songs associated with memorable cinema moments. The ceremony featured a Color Guard presentation by the U.S. Marines in honor of Independence Day, followed by the Indian and U.S. national anthems.
The Consulate will be closed tomorrow, July 3, for the holiday. On Saturday, July 4, patriotic parades and evening firework shows will take place all across the United States as part of annual celebrations. The Consulate will reopen on Monday, July 6.