Deepika, Mallya attend I-Day parade in NY | india | Hindustan Times
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Deepika, Mallya attend I-Day parade in NY

india Updated: Aug 18, 2008 12:03 IST

Bollywood sensation Deepika Padukone lead the India Day parade as grand Marshal, as over 50,000 people, mostly Indian-Americans, cheered the over two dozen floats, richly decorated with patriotic themes as part of the independence day celebration in New York.

The parade showcasing Indian cultural heritage and fast expanding economy also fascinated dozens of tourists from several nations visiting the United States.

Deepika Padukone, who stormed Bollywood with her debut film Om Shanti Om last year, was the grand Marshal of the parade, while industrialist Vijay Mallya was the chief guest.

The Federation of Indian Associations, an umbrella organisation of several cultural and community bodies which organises the parade, said it had invited Mallya as a symbol of the fast growing economic power of India.

The procession culminated in a cultural show where 89-year old Manna Dey, a popular Indian playback singer of yesteryears, recited some of his renderings.

President George Bush's protocol secretary Raymond Martinez attended on behalf of the US government the independence day dinner hosted by Indo-American President Andy Keshav Shenoy on Sunday.

He conveyed the good wishes of President Bush, first lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and highlighted the growing cooperation between India and the US in several fields, from economy to military to that in combating terrorism.

He spoke of the role that the two major democracies can play in "these times of political difficulties around the world," while lauding the contribution of the 2.5 million strong Indian-American community to the economy of the US.