Boston: The India Day celebrations, organised every year by Indian-Americans living here, have been cancelled due to increased security and strict regulations imposed by police in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
The Indian Association of Greater Boston (IAGB), which has been organising the annual event marking India`s independence for more than two decades now at the prestigious DCR Hatch Shell in Boston city, said that due to events beyond its control it has cancelled this year`s India Day celebrations.
The celebrations were originally scheduled for Sunday, August 18.
Two brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, allegedly carried out the deadly Boston Marathon bombings in which three people were killed and more than 250 others injured on April 15, in one of the worst terrorist attack in the US post 9/11.
As a result of increased security and strict regulations imposed by Boston City police for large events in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, the organisers announced the cancellation of this landmark annual event.
"After (the) Boston Marathon bombing, the rules and regulations for holding large public events in Boston have changed. Mass State Police and DCR have recently informed us of additional security requirements and constraints, which have significantly increased the cost of having events at the DCR Hatch Shell," said Amrit Soni, president IAGB.
"If we elected to continue to hold this event at the Hatch Shell this year, IAGB loses more than USD 20,000, something that is inappropriate for a non-profit organisation," Soni said, adding that IAGB is working feverishly to locate an appropriate alternate venue and date.
He said that the organisation hoped to make an announcement in this regard as soon as possible.
"While it will be impossible to find a venue that provides the beautiful look and feel of the DCR Hatch Shell, we are trying our best to find a suitable alternate venue," Soni said.
Rajashree Ghosh, a resident scholar at the Women`s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University in Waltham, said that the news about India Day not being held in Boston has been met with some dismay and anger.
"While alternate venues are being located at the time of writing this post, it has put a damper on the Indian community hoping to connect and rejoice marking the independence of a great democracy," Ghosh wrote in Boston Post yesterday.
"There are many, many more celebrations by different communities each lending a unique flavour and purpose to what makes Boston embrace them all.
Without these events and particularly without celebrating India Day, it will have left a void of unsurpassed proportions that the organisers and the Indian community as a whole will be grappling with," she said.