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Federation of Indian Associations celebrates 67th Republic Day with high fervor in Chicago

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Chicago: The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) on January 24, organized a high profile event at Ashton Place to celebrate India’s 67th Republic Day. The event, whose chief guest was Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago, saw the participation of over 500 people including various dignitaries and elected officials.

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago

Addressing the gathering, Dr. Sayeed stressed the importance of celebration of events of National importance and thanked the India-American community for their contribution to both Indian and American society.

State Senators Mike Noland, Laura Murphy, and Patti Bellock, State Representatives Stephanie Kifowit, Deb Conroy, and Michelle Mussman, Village Presidents Gopal Lalmalani and Kathleen Weaver, and representatives from the Attorney General’s Office and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District were among the dignitaries who participated in the event.

Speaking on the occasion, Congressional Candidate Raja Krishnamoorthi said: “I am running for the US Congress in order to enriching and consolidating the voice of the Indian-Americans.”

Syed Hussaini, Vice President, Wintrust Community Bank was the Guest of Honor for the event. He said that celebration of such events provides good opportunities for Indian Diaspora to reaffirm their commitments to the ideals of Indian Constitution.

The event also included high-end entertainment, music, dance, and food. Junoon Dance Academy presented a welcome dance- Ganesha Vandana. National Anthems of both India and US were sung. Nisha Saraswat sang Vande Matharam. Ishan Ahmed and Sheen Trivedi sang inspiring and patriotic songs like ‘Mere Desh Ki Dharti Sona Ugle’ and ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo’ respectively. The event also saw song performances by Pratibha Jairath, Mona Bhalla, Ashley Singh and Nipa Shah.

The traditional lighting of the lamp was done by the FIA team and all the dignitaries and the event also saw traditional dance performances from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana State, Kerala, and other parts of India, thus providing an opportunity to savor the rich culture of India.

The event concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by Mukesh Shah and sumptuous dinner for all the delegates.

Here are a few pictures from the event:

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04 AMU_456012 AMU_4600 13 AMU_4372 15 AMU_4286 16 AMU_4480 17 AMU_445002 AMU_4229 05 AMU_4570 18 AMU_4519(With inputs and photos from Asian Media USA)

 

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Ethnic Indian Jai Sears responds to complaint against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada

Jai Sears wrote in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier

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Gandhi
Mahatama Gandhi, leader of non violence

Jai Sears from Grenada, Caribbean has written a letter to editor in response to complaints against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada. Here is the text:

I write in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier and published in the Grenada newspaper, The New Today (Nov 3, 2017). In his letter, Rougier is asking the Government to remove the bust-statue of Gandhi which overlooks Sauteurs Bay in Grenada where East Indians arrived 160 years ago. Rougier’s opinion is based on the false notion that Gandhi was racist because the Mahatma reportedly considered Indians to be superior to black Africans when he referred to the latter as “kaffirs.”

Gandhi was only 27 years old when he made that contextual statement. If Rougier had done his research, he would have found that Nelson Mandela said: “Gandhi must be forgiven for these prejudices in the context of the time and the circumstances.” The quote can be found in “Gandhi the Prisoner” by Nelson Mandela published in 1995. Gandhi was a man; he was not god. And even god made mistakes.

In favour of Mahatama Gandhi
Photo of Jai Sears

Rougier must instead focus on the Gandhi’s vision of non-violent protest and his belief in satyagraha which inspired rebels and revolutionaries around the world. Gandhi’s ideas influenced leaders of the African National Congress and the struggle by Indians and blacks against white apartheid rule in South Africa. From as early as 1956 when he was 27 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Gandhi as “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”

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Following the success of his boycott, King contemplated traveling to India to deepen his understanding of Gandhian principles. The fact is that Gandhi saw people of all races, castes, colours and creeds as equal which led to his assassination by a Hindu fanatic in 1948. So who is this unknown Josiah Rougier? Is he as illustrious as the great Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King? And is he disagreeing with his possible heroes?

A friend to all.
Jai Sears
Grenada, Caribbean