NEW JERSEY (TIP): The New Jersey Chapter of the Indian American Muslim Council ( an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, celebrated India’s 65th Republic Day on Saturday February 1, 2014 at Clarion Inn (Ballroom) in North Brunswick., NJ. Hon. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) from Middlesex County 12th Congressional District was the keynote speaker at the event, attended by over 160 people including Indian Americans from different faith communities.

“The Constitution of India is truly a remarkable document. Through its declaration of India as a sovereign, secular Republic and its objectives of liberty, justice and equality for all its citizens, the Constitution provides a framework where all people, irrespective of race, creed and ethnicity can live together as a single nation”, said Minhaj Khan, President of IAMC-NJ.

“As Indian Americans who are appreciative of the US as well as the Indian Constitutions, we have a special responsibility to uphold the ideals of both,” added Mr. Khan Congressman Rush Holt, NJ, congratulated India on its 65th Republic Day celebrations and Indian American Muslim Council in particular for honoring the plurality and integrity of the Indian Constitution.

His message was “India will be stronger over the years if it embraces its diversity and if it protects religious freedom and the political rights of the minorities of all the states within India and this is clearly central to its traditions.” IAMC-NJ has been successfully organizing the India Republic Day event for the tri-state Indian Community for the past several years. This year’s event included Indian American attendees who had traveled from Connecticut to participate in the celebrations.

The four hour event included fun activities for children including a Drawing Competition, as well as Fancy Dress and Spot Quiz Contests based on Indian themes. The US national anthem was followed by a soulful rendition of the national anthem of India, by Col. Virandra Tavathia. Imam Ahmed Chebli of Islamic Society of Central Jersey urged the audience to uphold the true Indian cultural heritage and the values that we brought as immigrants to the great land of opportunities which is the US.

Speaking on the topic “Celebrating India’s Diversity and Pluralism”, IAMC Ex-President Shaheen Khateeb said, “this must be an occasion when we rededicate ourselves to maintaining harmony, peace and brotherhood. Most of all it is a time to look back and say how we have fared so far, and in which direction are we moving.We should not go in the direction of hate and destruction but on the path of building bridges and unity. All efforts should be made to protect this constitution and leave it intact for our future generations.” The attendees enjoyed delicious Indian food, followed by a great networking session. New Jersey is home to 292,256 Asian Indians, according to the 2010 census figures. The Indian American Muslim Council, established in 2002, has fifteen chapters nationwide. The Council’s mission is to advocate for peace, pluralism and social justice.