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Indian Consulate in New York welcomes its new Consul General


New York City: Deputy Consul General of India in New York Dr. Manoj Mohapatra hosted a reception with the community to welcome the new Consul General, Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das on Saturday March 12, 2016 in the Consulate’s ballroom.

Introducing the new Consul General, Manoj Mohapatra who has been holding the fort for about a month, after the transfer of the Consul General Ambassador Dnyaneshwar M Mulay to Delhi, said that prior to joining the post of Consul General of India in New York, Ambassador Das was Ambassador of India to Romania, Albania & Moldova with residence in Bucharest.

A large number of prominent guests including dignitaries which included Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, Special Advisor to the U.N. Ambassador Vijay Nambiar, Former PR Ambassador Hardeep Puri, Ambassador Mrs. Lakshmi Puri, Assistant SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, attended the event.

Deputy Consul General Dr Mohapatra introduced and welcomed the Consul General, followed by remarks from a number of guests. Those who spoke on the occasion included Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, Vijay Nambiar, H.R. Shah, Sudhir Parikh, Yashpal Soi, Prof. Indrajit S Saluja and Dr. Seema Jain.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Das said she was overwhelmed by the warm welcome and assurances of support. She said she understood well the formidable challenges she has before her, given the vast territorial jurisdiction of the New York Consulate and the large number of the Indian American community. She spoke of the high volume of work- nearly 1000 documents a day-but added quickly the Consulate was not daunted by the work. She said she would deal with issues and challenges.

Ambassador Das underscored the importance of working together. She appealed to the gathering to extend their support to the Consulate for the best services.

The Consul General had a special word of appreciation for her deputy Manoj Mohapatra about whom she said she depended on him for a lot of her work.

Source: The Indian Panorama

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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

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