Enthusiastic Indian Americans on Sunday celebrated the 71st Republic Day outside the country's embassy in Washington DC with much fervour, even as a dozen pro-Khalistani supporters tried to dampen their spirit by raising anti-India slogans.
"We Indians are here to celebrate the 71st Republic Day. The people gathered here have a lot of love for their motherland. It's a message to the protestors gathered here," said Jai Kansara, a prominent name amongst the Indian diaspora.
While the diaspora celebrated the Republic Day, about 10-12 pro-Khalistani supporters present outside the embassy raised anti-India slogans and attempted to burn the tri-colour along with copies of the Indian Constitution.
"Nothing can dampen our spirits. Khalistanis are fake Sikhs. We are proud of our own gurus, our Sikh brothers and sisters. These Khalistanis are politically motivated by Pakistan," said an Indian American.
As per the US law, raising slogans and demonstrating against a country or any government is not unlawful. Pro Khalistani groups have misused this freedom for decades and have regularly attempted to embarrass Indian events in Washington.
India's 71st Republic Day was celebrated in Washington, with Charge d'Affairs at the Indian Embassy, Amit Kumar, unfurling the tricolour and reading out President Ramnath Kovind's Republic Day Address.
Kumar also paid floral tributes to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Mahatma Gandhi Park in front of the Embassy. This was followed by the singing of patriotic songs by the students of Gandharva School of Music, Richmond.
A local band played popular patriotic songs and the gathered crowd moved to the beats with great enthusiasm. (ANI)