Indian and Pakistan 75th Independence Day Proclamation and Celebration on Friday, September 24th (see details below)
Councilor Sponsor: Councilor Shalini Bahl-Milne Community Sponsors: Alina Durrani, Dr. Ambreen Bawa, and Dr. Sanjay Nawalkha
WHEREAS, India and Pakistan have one of the world’s oldest civilizations with an extraordinary history of accomplishments in philosophy, mathematics, arts, architecture, music, medicine, and astronomy, and had built a thriving economy with flourishing trade and commerce; and
WHEREAS, British subjugation of the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947 involving political, social, and economic exploitation resulted in a significant transfer of capital from India to England, leading to a massive drain of revenue, the destruction of local industries, the transformation of lifestyles and local culture, and the obliteration of the colonized people’s identities and self-respect; and
WHEREAS, pro-imperialist history claims many benefits of the British rule including democracy, railways, language, and literature, these achievements mostly benefited the imperialists leaving the Indian subcontinent divided and impoverished with a drastic reduction in their share in the world economy from 20% to 4% under the 200 years of British rule; and
WHEREAS, a long campaign of nonviolent protests and struggle for independence was led by many fearless leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Jawaharlal Nehru, Fatima Jinnah, Allama Iqbal, Lal Bahadur Shastri, and Sarojini Naidu, to name only a few; and
WHEREAS, at midnight between Aug. 14 and 15, 1947, when the British finally left, the subcontinent was partitioned into two independent nation states: Pakistan and India; and
WHEREAS, the 1947 Partition was accompanied by one of the largest mass migrations in human history creating 14 million refugees and the loss of up to 2 million lives; and
WHEREAS, Indians and Pakistanis worldwide are celebrating the 75th year of independence in 2021, it is also a time to pause and remember the sacrifices of the people who fought for their freedom and to commit to working together to promote peace and progress; and
WHEREAS, the Town of Amherst is home to a vibrant community of Pakistani and Indian Americans and immigrants who have contributed to the diversity of our culture and to our local businesses, education, services, and economy; and
WHEREAS, to pay tribute to the brave men and women who gave their lives to bring freedom to the people in Pakistan and India, we join the members from the Indian and Pakistani communities and invite all residents in the Town of Amherst to a flag raising ceremony at 4:00 pm on September 24, 2021 in front of the Amherst Town Hall.
NOW, THEREFORE, be it hereby resolved that we, the Town Council of the Town of Amherst in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in recognition of the 75th year of independence in Pakistan and India, proclaim September 24, 2021, as “Celebration of India and Pakistan Day” and further recognize this Proclamation by raising the Pakistani and Indian National flags from September 24 to September 30, 2021, to help spread awareness of the history of the two countries and celebrate the many achievements and contributions of the Indian and Pakistani residents in Amherst.
75th India & Pakistan Independence Day Celebration
When: Friday, September 24th from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Where: Outside Amherst Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Avenue in Amherst, MA 01002
What: Join us for a flag raising, proclamation reading, henna art, truck art, music, dance, speakers and celebration of both nations.
Click here for the event flyer (PDF)
Click here for the proclamation (PDF)