Haven’t been to The Big Apple, but here is an account of how India@60 is unfolding there. For the uninitiated, India@60 is high-decibel campaign in New York City organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with active support from India’s Ministry of Tourism.
The 4-day Sun-Thurs extravaganza was flagged off yesterday by Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center Plaza. There is no doubt the setting is just right for the momentous event. The 62nd UN general assembly is just underway, and people from across the globe are descending in the city.
So, what’s on? Plenty, if you take a bird’s eye view.
Almost the entire Manhattan is dressed with colorful posters, festoons and billboards that announce the ‘arrival’ of Incredible India. Opposite the 42nd Street–Port Authority Bus Terminal (picture below, image source) a second Taj Mahal is being built with sand by the sculptor Sudarshan Patnaik. And there will be cultural programs, food fests, fashion shows, and what not that will see participants from a wide spectrum making the event the most ‘happening’ in recent times.
If the scene on the street is near euphoric, there is cheer in print as well. New Yorkers woke up on Sunday to a rare full-page advertisement in The New York Times inviting them to “experience India in New York”.
The CII is leaving no stone unturned to make it a grand success. Neon-lit panels and hoardings are there atop taxis, at the imposing Grand Central station, and on bus shelters in Manhattan. Which for sure means that the world leaders and all others who are arriving in the city for the general assembly won’t forget India in a hurry.
Sunil Mittal, the Bharti enterprises chairman, busy in overseeing the campaign, says, “The one thing I’ve learnt about America is that it works on signals. This event is meant to generate positive signals around India.”
Here is a nice video from IBNLive showing off India@60 billboards at important places including one each on the Nasdaq building and the Reuters US HQ, said to be the most coveted advertising spots in the world, both at the Times Square.