EDISON, New Jersey — Every August crowds clutching saffron, white and green flags line a parade route through Edison, New Jersey, to watch local business owners, politicians and the occasional Bollywood celebrity march past to commemorate India’s Independence Day.

Normally a celebration, this year’s parade instead divided this suburban, heavily immigrant town 30 miles from New York City when a yellow bulldozer — a symbol that has become offensive to many Indian Muslims — appeared among the floats.