The 27th annual India Day Parade in New York City to celebrate sixty years of India’s independence took place on Sunday, August 19th, 2007. Once again, Swamibapa Pipe Band was asked to play in the parade after an extremely successful performance at last year’s India Day Parade. This year, however, Swamibapa Pipe Band was given the special honor of leading the entire parade, including the parade committee and guests of honor, through the streets of New York.
Young disciples had prepared a beautiful chariot to represent Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan Maninagar in the biggest India Day Parade in all of the United States. Seated on the chariot were the divine murtis of Lord Shree Swaminarayan, Jeevanpran Bapashree, and Muktajeevan Swamibapa, who bestowed their darshan throughout the parade upon all those who had gathered. Disciples also performed raas and garba to kirtans, and more disciples marched along to proudly represent the temple.
An estimated 60,000 people filled up the sidewalks of the parade route along Madison Avenue from 41st Street to 24th Street in the heart of Manhattan. Over forty organizations represented themselves in the parade, ranging from private businesses to spiritual organizations such as our own. Guests of honor included Bollywood stars Priyanka Chopra and Johnny Lever as well as astronaut Sunita Williams. New York City was an ocean of the tricolor and the Indian culture. Thousands and thousands of patriotic Indians happily waved the Indian national flag and were dressed in traditional Indian attire.
Everyone was impressed by Swamibapa Pipe Band’s performance and the temple’s display. Many had also commented that the chariot was the most beautiful they had ever seen. By the grace of Lord Shree Swaminarayan, Jeevanpran Bapashree, and Muktajeevan Swamibapa, the India Day Parade in New York was another great accomplishment for the pipe band, the temple, and Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan Maninagar.