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GOPIO wants July 2 as the ‘Independence Day for Indian Americans’

New York, July 3 (): Supported by nearly 8-10 partner NRI associations, Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) is in the forefront leading a campaign to celebrate July 2 as the ‘Independence Day for Indian Americans’ as favoured by the US citizens of Indian origin.

Inder Singh, Chairman of GOPIO said that July 2 was the day when US proclamation ‘Liberty and Justice for all’ applied to the Indians for the first time in 1946. He added that Indian civic organizations should organize celebration of July 2 as the day when Indians achieved parity, equality and dignity in America.

Abdul Gani Shaikh, US-based engineer and member of Indian Muslim Association in the US who migrated to United States in 1967 says the idea is most welcomed by various organizations of Indians which form part of Federation of Indian Association.

Indians began their long migratory voyage to US in the beginning of the twentieth century. After years of racial prejudice and sufferings, the US citizenship was granted to them only in the year 1946. Only white immigrants were allowed to apply for US citizenship in the beginning.

Inder Singh, the GOPIO chairman recalled that though the US Congress could pass a law to grant US citizenship to nearly 2000 Indians in America, the Indian community was unconvinced whether such a law would be passed by the Congress.

Mr Singh further added that a few individuals like JJ Singh of India League of America, Mubarak Ali Khan of the Indian Welfare League, Anup Singh, Haridas Muzumdar, Taraknath Das, and from California, Dalip Singh Saund of the India Association of America, decided to lobby for citizenship rights.

The group could finally convince Connecticut Republican Congresswoman, Clare Booth Luce, and New York Democrat Congressman, Emanuel Cellar, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, to jointly launch a bill in Congress for the grant of US citizenship to Indian immigrants. But, the bill continued to be shelved away for the next four years; only on July 2, 1946 President Truman signed the bill and brought the granting of US citizenship to effect for Indian Americans.