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INFO : FF 1997

Posted By Sumir Meghani (smeghani@envirolink.org)
Sun Jan 26 22:06:59 1997

PRESS RELEASE
Date: January 24, 1997

Hindu Students Council will celebrate 50 years of Indian Independence
with Freedom Festival 1997

Hindu Students Council (HSC) will be commemorating 50 years of Indian
Independence with a series of programs over the next one year called
"Freedom Festival 1997." Freedom Festival 1997 will include many
activities focusing on college students, pre-college students, the
general American public, and students and youth around the world.
Freedom Festival 1997 will educate people about India’s history,
culture, contributions to the world, and people. Kanchan Banerjee,
overall coordinator of Freedom Festival 1997, explained, "It is as much
a celebration of the independence of India as a tribute to the courage
and sacrifice that great leaders and hundreds of millions of people had
to undergo to attain this independence. Also, people of Indian descent
have gone to many parts of the world and have made major contributions
to their adopted countries. We as a people have a lot more to
contribute to the world as we move towards the 21st century. In order
to do that, we need to know ourselves, our heritage, our roots, and our
rich culture’s values and ideals. Therefore, we need to look at our
past and know the events and ideals that shaped us into the way we are
today."

As part of Freedom Festival 1997, 50 campus seminars of half a day to
two days will be held throughout North America throughout the year. The
first Freedom Festival 1997 seminar will be held at the University of
Florida (Gainesville, Florida) from February 14-15, 1997. The seminars
will include presentations by scholars and students, discussions,
exhibits, and cultural programs. They will provide a great opportunity
to learn more about the achievements, trials, and tribulations of the
people of India. Speakers will include community leaders, scholars,
religious leaders, and civic and political leaders of the US and India.

Regional conferences of 1-2 days length will be held in 10 major
metropolitan areas across the US and Canada to bring together people
from various walks of life to celebrate life and liberty. The
conferences will invite more prominent speakers than the campus seminars
and will seek to draw many more people including much of the community,
The regional conferences may be held in Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco,
Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Washington D.C., New York, Boston,
Toronto, Boston, and Philadelphia.

At the campus seminars and regional conferences, HSC will have art
exhibitions and multi-media presentations called "India Darshan." India
Darshan will seek to show the history, culture, arts, contributions of
India to the world, and the contemporary state of the nation to people,
It will also attempt to portray the long struggle Indians had to go
through to preserve their life and culture from the hands of foreign
invaders, and the courage Indians showed against all odds and the
sacrifices they made to obtain freedom from oppression and slavery. As
one of the oldest living civilizations, India is rich in traditions and
natural beauty. Indians have made great advances and contributions in
various fields such as science, mathematics, astrology, astronomy,
philosophy, arts, language, architecture, medicine, and yoga. India
Darshan will show all that.

Additionally, in coordination with HSC’s Global Hindu Youth Activities
Network (GHYAN), a Global Freedom Prayer Meet will be held at midnight
(Indian Standard Time) August 15, 1997 in campuses, temples, and
community centers around the world to salute Mother India and to pray
for freedom, peace, and prosperity of India and the world. The prayer
meets will pay tribute to the great freedom fighters and to the innocent
millions who suffered and lost their lives with dignity trying to win
freedom for India.

Freedom Festival 1997 will include programs to reach out to the younger
youth as well. HSC workers and members will visit local high schools
and talk and India, trying to remove misconceptions that students may
have. North American essay and art competitions will be held for
elementary, middle, and high school youth on the themes of Freedom
Festival 1997, and prizes will be awarded to outstanding entries.

Additionally, campuses may have regular study centers, surveys and
opinion polls may be conducted, and public and school libraries will be
provided books and book lists that portray India in a positive light.
HSC will work closely with other organizations that have similar
interests, the media, the Indian government, and community leaders.

HSC invites everyone to participate in the celebrations of Freedom
Festival 1997. Let us collectively and individually rejoice in our
freedom. Let us come together and offer our time, energy, and mind for
a better future for us and the world. Let us salute all those who
sacrificed their lives for freedom.

HSC is an international forum for the promotion of Hindu culture and
heritage.

For more information about Freedom Festival 1997, please write to
Freedom Festival 1997 Committee, P.O. Box 9185, Boston, MA 02114 USA.
Phone (617) 742-7193, fax (617) 444-8725, or email ff97@freeindia.org
HSC will also announce a web site dedicate to India's Freedom Movement and
history soon.

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