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India Association of Yuma Independence Day Celebrations

With August right around the corner the India Association of Yuma has been planning its next annual celebration to commemorate India's Independence Day. This year's function is scheduled for Friday August 15th at 6:30PM. Like previous celebrations this function will be held at North End Community Center (formerly called Yuma Adult Center) at 160 E. First Street in Yuma.

The event will be accompanied by some cultural dances and live entertainment followed by delicious Indian food catered by an Indian restaurant from Phoenix. Celebrations start at 6:30PM and admission is free to members. Non members and guests pay $20 per person.

India won her independence from Great Britain's colonial rule on August 15th 1947 following an independence movement of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience led by Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and the leaders of the Indian National Congress. India's securing of independence from the British Commonwealth coincided with the country's partition into the Dominions of India (a Hindu majority state) and Pakistan (a Muslim state). Pakistan would later adopt a new constitution becoming an Islamic State in 1956.

In Delhi the nation's capital Independence Day celebrations are annually observed by the Prime Minister raising the national flag at Red Fort and then delivering a speech. Independence Day is one of three national holidays recognized by the Government of India with the other 2 being Republic Day on January 26th which commemorates the date the official Constitution of India took effect in 1950 having replaced the Government of India Act of 1935 and Gandhi Jayanthi on October 2nd to commemorate the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi the "Father of the Nation."

The arrival of the British in India occurred sometime in the early 1600s with the intent of being a commercial trading partner. At the time much of India had come under the rule of the Mughal Empire a Persian empire which extended over large parts of the Indian subcontinent including parts of present day Afghanistan and Pakistan. It was ruled over by a dynasty of Chagatai-Turkic origin. Previously it had been under the administration of Hindu kings but starting in the early 16th century as northern India fell to Muslim rulers the Mughal Empire came to power. Mughal power began to wane in the late 1700s and the Mughals had to turn to outside forces to protect their empire. In 1784 the Marathas were recognized as protectors of the emperor in Delhi, a state of affairs which continued after the Second Anglo-Maratha war.

Afterwards the Britsh East India Company became the protectors of the Mughal Dynasty in Delhi. After a crushed rebellion in 1857-1858 the last Emperor was deposed by the British government which took control of the country making India a colony of Great Britain until August 1947 when India won its sovereignty from the British Commonwealth.

For more information please email Vinod Mohindra at vmohindra@usa.net. Also for those unfamiliar with the India Association of Yuma it is a local group responsible for planning and hosting events for the Asian Indian community of Yuma.