July 2017 \ News \ FIA—SC
Federation of Indian Associations—SC

On a hot summer afternoon in May, 1981, Inder Singh called a handful of people together at the India Tourist office in Los Angeles to explore the possibility of celebrating India’s Independence Day,

By Rajen Anand

The entire program turned out to be a great success – greater than anticipated by the organizers. This historic event demonstrated a sincere willingness on the part of various associations to cooperate and work together for a common cause. During the process of preparation for that day, many new friendships were established, new contacts were made, and a new sense of togetherness emerged.

After the tremendous success of the Independence Day celebration, several people expressed the need that this new wave of cooperation among different organizations should not be allowed to wane. People felt a need for continuous coordination of activities through an umbrella organization. A number of meetings were held to discuss the purpose and structure of such an organization.

Birth of F.I.A.

These efforts resulted in the establishment of an organization entitled Federation of Indian Associations of Southern California (FIA). An interim executive committee composed of Inder Singh, Anand Chopra, Rajen Anand, Padma Upadhyayula and Syed Alvi was elected. It was emphasized that the purpose of the organization was not to act as a big “Daddy” to other associations and to dictate them what to do, but rather act as subservient to these associations in order to create coordination and cooperation among them.

In the following year, 1982, the newly organized Federation again celebrated India’s Independence Day. This time around, the event turned out to be even bigger, more colorful, better organized, and attended by a larger number of people than the year before. By this time, 22 Indians associations had joined this group.

Tags: Rajen Anand