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September 1, 2013

A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)

Issue: XII-9 September 1, 2013
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August 15 is a special day for Indians all over the world mainly because it is the day wherein India finally gained its full independence from England. It was in August 15, 1947, which makes it their 67th Independence Day.


Indian Diaspora celebrated Indian Independence Day with fervour and gaiety in many parts of the world. Flag hoisting ceremonies were held at many local and state government institutions. India associations worldwide organized cultural programs, festivals and parades in all over the world.




The biggest celebration was in New York at the 33rd India Day Parade organized by Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) on Madison Ave. in Manhattan on August 18th. Thousands of people lined up on both sides of the road as a colourful parade with 35 floats depicting the diverse and vibrant culture of India led by Bollywood star Vidya Balan passed through Manhattan. The chief guest was Gandhian and corruption crusader Anna Hazare. According to an estimate, over 200,000 people attended the parade.


India Day Parade in New York City 2013

Photo above, from top left clockwise: Gandhian Anna Hazare addressing the parade; Bollywood actress Vidya Balan with FIA President  Sanjay Amin, GOPIO Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham and GOPIO Life Member Dr. Sudhir Parikh; Tamil film actors Radhika Sarath Kumar and Sarath Kumar MLA; Hazare at the parade; Band from Swaminarayan Temple of New Jersey, Drummers of Jai Bharath Dhol Tash Pathak of USA; Telangana contigent at the parade.


Colorful floats, marching bands and convertibles made their way down Madison Avenue in Manhattan with revelers cheering Hazare and Balan. 

"I've never seen something as wonderful and heartwarming," said Balan, the parade's grand marshal. 

Grand Marshal Vidya Balan Greeting Huge Crowd at India Day Parade.8.18.2013

Photo above: Grand Marshal Vidya Balan reviewing the parade along with former Indian Army Chief General V.K. Singh


The Indian-Americans waved the tri-color at Hazare and shouted that they stood by him in his crusade against corruption. 

Hundreds of parade goers wore orange, green and white dress with a Gandhi caps "I am for Anna" to demonstrate their support to Hazare, whose anti-corruption crusade has inspired thousands at home and abroad. 

Balan drew huge crowds as people on both sides of the Madison Avenue cheered her when she travelled in the FIA float along with FIA Chairman Ramesh Patel, FIA President Sanjay Amin and New York Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay. Others dignitaries present at the parade involved former Indian Army Chief Gen V K Singh and Tamil film actors Sarath Kumar and Radika Sarath Kumar. The event also witnessed the presence of the President of Antigua, Barbuda Winston Baldwin Spencer and the Speaker of the New York City Council Christine Quinn.   


FIA Past Presidents at the India Day Parade,8.18.2013   Photo above: Former FIA presidents, Dr. H.K. Chandrasekhar, Bipin Patel, Nitin Vora, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Ramesh Patel, Prabir Roy, Sudha Acharya and Dr. Parveen Chopra. Vora, Abraham, Acharya and Chopra are GOPIO Life Members.


See YouTube videos of the parade brought to you by GOPIO News.


India Day Parade in New York City. August 18, 2013

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High Commission of India, London & the Nehru Centre (Cultural Wing of HCI) organized the 'Independence Day celebration 2013', on 18 August at Indian Gymkhana Club, Osterley. The celebration started with flag hosting and followed by the cultural events.


British Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated India on its 67th Independence Day and praised "vibrancy of its democracy, the strength of its diversity and the power of its economy." 


In an exclusive article published by Asian Lite newspaper, Cameron said he wants to strengthen the relationship between the "world's oldest democracy and its largest."


Cameron said he is proud of Britain's close bond with India and praised the Indian community in Britain.


"The British Indian community has enriched this country beyond measure," the prime minister said. "That's true from sport to the arts - from philanthropy to commerce. Aspiration, personal responsibility and respect for the rule of law are fundamental values in our country, and they run through British Indians like a stick of rock."




Hundreds of people of Indian-origin gathered at the Indian high commission in Fiji's capital Suva on this occasion. Unfurling the tricolor, Indian High Commissioner Vinod Kumar said India and Fiji had achieved a lot since the establishment of bilateral relations between the two countries.


In Kuwait, Indians marked the day with Ambassador Satish C. Mehra unfurling the tricolor in the embassy premises. He read out the address to the nation by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee delivered on the Independence Day eve. Describing India-Kuwait relations as historic, close and characterized by mutual respect and understanding, he lauded the contribution of the Indian community in Kuwait's development and to the bilateral relations.


South Korea joined India in celebrating I-Day. Local artists performed classical Indian dances like Kathak and Odissi as members of both the Indian and Korean communities jointly celebrated their independence days at a unique function. South Korea celebrated its first Liberation Day Aug 15, 1945. To mark the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, the Indian embassy in Seoul organized a joint celebration of India and South Korea's independence days. India's Ambassador Vishnu Prakash hoisted the tricolor. A cultural program organized by the Indian Cultural Centre at the embassy and the Indian community in Seoul featured Korean artists performing Kathak, Oddissi and yoga.


The Indian Diaspora communities organized festivals and cultural programs to celebrate Indian Independence Day. They also joined the Indian missions to jointly organize the celebrations.




An estimated 15,000 people attended the parade held in Hicksville, the newest 'Little India' located in Nassau County in New York on August 11th with Nassau county executive Ed Mangano, Bollywood actress Aarti Chhabria, and Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley as main guests. There were 17 floats including those of Air India, grocery stores chain Patel Brothers, and 30 booths including banks and insurance companies.




The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) of Chicago organized India Day Parade on Saturday, August 17th on Mahatma Gandhi Marg and continued on Devon Ave. in Chicago. Bollywood actress Soha Ali Khan was the Grand Marshal. The parade was by attended Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, India's Consul General Dr, Ausaf Sayeed and his wife Farha, former White House chief of Staff Bill Daley, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, FIA President Hina Trivedi and several political leaders.The parade began after a flag-hoisting ceremony in Daley Plaza and had 27 floats.


   Chicago India Day Parade 2013 organized by FIA-Chicago

 Photo above: Chicago Indian Day parade being led by Actress Soha Ali Khan, Gov. Pat Quinn, Indian Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed and FIA Chicago officials




Hundreds of Indian Americans the Washington DC metropolitan area attended a banquet organized by the National Council of Indian Associations on August 17th at Martin's Crosswinds at Greenbelt, Maryland to celebrate Indian Independence Day. The chief guest was Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao. Several political leaders from Maryland attend the program. Maryland Deputy Secretary of State Dr. Rajan Natarajan read out a proclamation from the Governor for the occasion.




In Edison, New Jersey, two Indian community groups Indian Business Association (IBA), and Edison based Oak Tree Indian Business Association Inc. (OTIBA) organized two separate parades separately on Sunday, August 11th. Bollywood baddie Gulshan Grover and television actress Rashmi Desai led the IBA parade as Grand Marshals while Bollywood actor Shweta Bharadwaj did the honors for OTIBA parade.


A third parade was held at the Boardwalk of the Atlantic City on August 16th. New Jersey Assemblyman and Deputy Speaker Upendra Chivukula was the chief guest.




Veteran community leader Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder President of many Indian community institutions such as the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) of New York, the National Federation of Indian Associations (NFIA) and the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) led the Indian Day parade as Grand Marshal to celebrate India's Independence Day organized by India Cultural Society of Rockland (ICSR) in New City, New York on Saturday, August 17th. After the parade reached the Court House, ICSR President Smriti Sridhara hoisted the Indian Tricolor to the strains of India's national anthem which was followed by greetings from the elected officials including the first Indian American county legislative member Anney Paul.


The parade and festival were organized by a team headed by ICSR President Smriti Sridhara along with ICSR President-Elect Rajan Baranwal and Jeevan Jyoti President Suresh Arya and a large number of committee members and volunteers. It was attended by many state and county legislatures as well as a wider cross section of the Indian community.


India Day Parade in New city, Rockland County, New York led by GOPIO Founder Dr. Thomas AbrahamPhoto above:  India Day Parade in New City, Rockland County, in the front row, from l. to r. Alka shah, GOPIO Secretary Nami Kaur, Grand Marshal Dr. Thomas Abraham, India Cultural Society President Smriti Sridhara and Ami Sopariwala



GOPIO International participated in the week long 150th anniversary commemoration starting July 5, 2013 organized by the Comité Sidambarom in Guadeloupe, headed by Jacques Sidambarom, in honor of Henry Moutou Sidambarom, a pioneer fighting relentlessly for the rights of people of Indian origin in Guadeloupe and for their recognition as French citizens with equal rights. (Ref: GOPIO News March 17, 2013). Also in attendance at these events were Min Subodh Jaiswal (Indian High Commission in Paris); Juliette Corré, Perfecture de la Guadeloupe; Dinesh Petapermal (President of GOPIO Guadeloupe); Jean Sahai (Co-Chairperson of GOPIO Cultural Council, Guadeloupe); as well as Elie Shitalou, Fred Negrit, Rosy Varrey Sheikboudhou, and others.


In Guadeloupe, meetings were held among GOPIO International, GOPIO Guadeloupe, Min. Jaiswal and Jacques Sidambarom. The discussions centered on Indian Diaspora, relationships with other PIO countries and groups in the Caribbean region; interests and needs of PIOs in Guadeloupe, such as PIO cards, an Indian consulate in Guadeloupe to serve Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Martin; KIP, scholarships, PBD, arrival documents, arrival monuments such as Highbury (Guyana) patterned after Kolkata Memorial. Visits were made to Indian arrival monument and Indian Cultural Centre near completion; attendance at Miss Sari 2013 pageant.


In Martinique, visits were made to ships arrivals area, sugar plantations and historical sites. Meetings and discussions (similar to Guadeloupe) were held with GOPIO chapter members chaired by chapter president Lucienne Sacarbany; Ingenierie Culturelle (Prof Diana Ramassamy); Dr Juliette Simerada (Researche, writer); Consuelo Marin, and many others. Discussion with Le Monde Rouge mayor Pierre Petit on Indian Diaspora projects such an arrival monuments at the location of the first landing. Common issues and interests are among PIOs of the French Antilles: Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin, St. Bart's and French Guiana (Cayenne).


Three GOPIO International Science & Technology Council luminaries were hosted and recognized at the first Global R&D Summit held in New Delhi on July 25-26, 2013. The event was jointly hosted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The Summit was attended and addressed by GOPIO International's Science & Technology Council Chairman, Dr. Ramesh Caussy (France); Council Co-Chairman Prof. Prasad Yarlagadda (Australia); and Life Member Dr. Birendra Dutta. Munish Gupta, GOPIO International Coordinator-Africa, Executive Committee Member, and Chairman PIO TV, was a key organizer of the Summit along with FICCI & DST. 


The Global R&D Summit 2013 is among the most prestigious events to be convened under a new initiative launched by FICCI at the behest of DST. It drew participation from global and Indian industry leaders in Science & Technology, who presented path-breaking and pioneering innovations in R&D. These included prodding India to pave the way for higher investment in R&D and setting up R&D institutions. GOPIO International was listed and applauded as a valued partner in the event.


The inaugural session was addressed by Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Dr. Shashi Tharoor; Principal Scientific Advisor to Prime Minister of India, Dr. R Chidambaram; DST Secretary, Dr. T Ramasami; FICCI President Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai; and, GOPIO's Dr. Birendra Raj Dutt, Chairman & MD, APIC Corporation USA. Dr Dutt was the featured industry speaker on his path-breaking research on photonics as the emerging technology of computer chip processors. Dr Dutt has already secured contracts with India's prestigious Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) of the Ministry of Defense, Government of India. Among major international speakers at the plenary and various sessions included Dr. Paul, Stein, Chief Scientific Officer, Rolls Royce; Prof. Prasad Yarlagadda, Project Director: Airports of the future, Australia; Dr. Ramesh Caussy, President, Partnering 3.0 France; and Prof. Peter Hodgeson, Director, Institute of Frontier Materials, Deakin University, Australia.


Among the Indian participants were Dr. Makarand Phadke, Chairman, FICCI's Science & Technology Council; Dr. Gopichand, Managing Director, GE India Technology Centre; Mr. Ananth Krishnan, Vice-President and CTS, Tata Consultancy Services; Dr. R.K. Malhotra, Director (R&D), Indian Oil Corporation and several other top innovators and entrepreneurs from various sectors. Speakers shared their experiences and best practices in R&D management and strategy.


The main focus areas of this summit were Health Care & Pharma, Manufacturing & Production, ICTV& Telecom, Defense and Security, Sustainable & Renewable Energy, Agriculture & Biotech and Walter Purification, Recycle, Reuse. Participants in exhibits and conference deliberations included large number of industries from various parts of the world and also representatives of ICT MNCs.


Munish Gupta has been involved for GOPIO International's Science & Technology  Council as he works closely with DST, DRDO and FICCI as well as the Ministry of Overseas Indians (MOIA) in devising strategy and plans for the Government of India to engage Diaspora scientists, R&D and technology entrepreneurs. GOPIO S&T Council signed a MoU with FICCI Center for Technology Commercialization (FICCI C Tech) in 2012. Munish is spearheading a program for India to collaborate with African nations in taking and commercializing Indian (including Diaspora) innovations and technology in African countries. GOPIO International's S&T Council comprising Dr. Caussy and Dr. Yarlagadda is now poised to enhance its role and interaction with FICCI and Government of India. Dr. Caussy, Dr Yarlagadda and Dr Dutt were invited and felicitated by FICCI and DST for their participation and contribution at the Global R&D Summit 2013.


Dr. Caussy spoke on Robotics and Digital Economy as the bedrock of future innovations. He underlined the need to support industrial economy in both developing and developed nations. Prof. Yarlagadda talked about his research on Impact of ICT and Automation on Future of Global Aviation Industry. Via his presentation Prasad took all audience to a quick tour through modern airports. 


Dr Dutt stunned the audience with a sterling innovation of shifting from electronics to photonics and exhorted the Government of India to establish a factory to manufacture the next generation of computer processor chips in India, and get a piece of the annual trillion dollar industry.


The overseas GOPIO delegation was welcomed by Rajendra Prabhu, president, India chapter, GOPIO International. He was a special attendee at the Global R&D Summit in his capacity as one of the most renowned science writer/ reporter in India for 40 years. 


GOPIO Science and Technology Council Shines at R&D Summit in New Delhi, July 2013

 Photo above: From l. to r. Prof. Prasad Yarlagadda, Dr. Ramesh Caussy, Rajendra Prabhu and Munish Gupta




"The Gadar Movement was like a spark of fire, which lit up the whole forest," said ambassador of India Nirupama Rao, addressing the audience of over 200 at the centennial celebration of Gadar Movement for India's independence. "It is the spirit of sacrifice, the spirit of courage that was exemplified by Gadarites who were inspired by the call of freedom," she added.


Rao enumerated the steps being taken by the Indian government, including release of a postage stamp by the Prime Minister early this year, to recognize the significant contribution of the movement in India's freedom struggle. She mentioned that the Indian government has taken upon the project to convert the Gadar Memorial Hall in San Francisco into a museum and functional library. The ambassador also recognized services of octogenarian Ghulam Yazdani Siddiqui, who was imprisoned in India by the British government, for his participation in freedom movement during his student days.


The day-long program of seminars, banquet and entertainment was held at Rockville Hilton in Maryland on 28th July. Organizers included the Metropolitan Washington GOPIO (Global Organization of People of Indian Origin) in cooperation with national GOPIO and Indian community organizations of Metro Washington. Speakers talked about the formation of Gadar Party and its initial members that included Lala Hardayal, Maulvi Barkatullah, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Sohan Singh Bhakna, and others. Inder Singh, chairman GOPIO International said that the current generation of Indian-Americans knows very little about the history of Indians in US.


Surender Pal Singh, grandson of Bhagwan Singh-one of the eminent Gadarites-said there is a need to recognize the contributions of the Gadar Movement and its leaders in the freedom struggle. Singh, who had come from Atlanta for this occasion added that time has come to make Gadar Movement a part of text books. Professor Harbans Lal said that the movement, which started in the west coast of northern America with a small group of people from diverse religious groups, impacted India thousands of miles away with full force. Joy Cherian and Sambhu Banik talked about life and contribution of heroes of Gadar Movement. Sandip Mallick of SAADA (South-Asian American Digital Archive) gave a presentation on the archival material SAADA is helping preserve for Gadar movement history.


Welcoming the guests, Washington GOPIO president Zafar Iqbal said that the program for year-long celebration of the centennial was launched at the Embassy of India on 3rd November 2012. He elaborated that the event was organized to honor the ultimate sacrifices of Gadar Movement heroes, who preached and practiced the motto, Sar Kata Sakte Hain; Sar Juka Sakte Nahin (We can have our heads cut off, we cannot bow our heads to anyone). Event chairperson and master of ceremony Renuka Misra highlighted the significance of the movement that had the cooperation of major communities including Sikhs, Muslims, and Hindus.


Gadar - GOPIO-Washington Program Group - Gadar Book Released

Photo above: Ambassador Nirupama Rao with GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh and organizers Dr. Renu Misra, Dr. Zafar Iqbal and other GOPIO officials and dignitaries.


Ambassador Subhas Mungra of Republic of Surinam, Ambassador Islam Siddiqui, Chief Agricultural Negotiator US, Deputy Secretary of Maryland State Dr. Rajan Natarajan, Maryland State Attorney-General Mr. Douglas Gansler, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, and Maryland State Delegate Aruna Miller also expressed their appreciation for the event celebrating 100 years of the independence movement. Dr. Satish Misra and Nitin Gupta thanked the guests, supporters, and participants in making the event a success.




GOPIO Upper New York Chapter is organizing a Family Brunch in honor of the Gadar Movement on Saturday, September 7 starting at 11.30 a.m. at Caribbean Cabana Restaurant, 11602 Jamaica Avenue, Queens, New York city. Minimum donation is $20.


For information and registration, contact: Jhairam Persaud at 917-748-2430,




GOPIO International in collaboration with GOPIO's chapters in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut area, along with several Indian-American organizations and prominent civic leaders, historians and academicians, is holding the GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration event on September 21, 2013 in Long Island, New York. Prominent guests to include Amb. Dnyaneshwar Mulay, Indian Consul General in New York, as well as officials from the New York region. The planned event incorporates the GOPIO recommended seminar format of "GOPIO GADAR Centennial Commemoration" with qualified historians, academicians and civic representatives. GOPIO's Gadar documentary 20-minute DVD will be shown and "Gadar Heroics" book will be complimentary to all attendees.


GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration event on September 21, 2013 follows its very successful launch of its GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration in the USA on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at the Embassy of India in Washington, DC with Amb. Rao as the Chief Guest. Similar GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration events were recently held in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington, DC.


Contact: Mohinder Singh Taneja, Director, Community Liaison, GOPIO Int'l at





GOPIO Business Council, in collaboration with the Indian Consulate in New York and the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC-USA), organized an interactive community meeting and dinner with Dr. A. Didar Singh, Secretary General of Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce of India (FICCI) on Sunday, August 4, 2013. The event was held at the Indian Consulate's Ballroom and well attended by prominent members of the Indian American community in New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region.


The theme of the discussion was "Emerging Opportunities for the Indian Diaspora" (including Young Entrepreneurs). After welcome by Mr. Sugand Rajaram (Consul, Press, Information & Culture), remarks by Mr. Norman Solovay (Chairman of IACC-USA), and Indian Consul General Amb. Dnyaneshwar Mulay, GOPIO International president Ashook Ramsaran introduced Dr A. Didar Singh, former Secretary of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with whom GOPIO has worked closely on several matters of significance to the Indian Diaspora. Dr Singh spoke on the many current and emerging investment opportunities in India as well as the reverse technology flow, including the role of GOPIO in Diaspora connectivity with India and respective homelands. A very informative interactive session on matters of interest was followed by dinner.


Event coordinators were: GOPIO: Ashook Ramsaran; Mridul Pathak; Mahindra Pratap; Navin Pathak; Shelly Nichani; IACC-USA: Norman Solovay; Indian Consulate in New York: Judy Menon . The event was sponsored by: GOPIO Business Council; Vikram & Anita Bhat; Kingfisher; Bharat Travel & Tourism Inc; Mohinder Taneja; Indo-American Chamber of Commerce - USA (IACC-USA); and the Indian Consulate in New York.


On August 5, 2013 Dr Singh addressed a wide cross section of business representatives at a Tea and Networking Event based on "Opportunities for U.S. Based Middle Market Companies in the U.S. - India and Cross Border Corridor". The event was held at Citicorp headquarters in New York, coordinated by Citicorp in association with Indo - American Chamber of Commerce USA and the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), and sponsored by Citi-Anchin Indian Business Initiative. Welcome remarks by Ali Hirji, Senior Vice President, One Citi India Initiative; introduction by GOPIO president Ashook Ramsaran and closing remarks by Kuldeepak Acharya of Citi-Anchin. Moderator was Mridul Pathak.

GOPIO Meeting with Dr. A. Didar Singh in New York  Photo of Dr A. Didar Singh flanked by GOPIO officials and program sponsors




On 15 August 2013, GOPIO Waikato celebrated India's 67th Independence Day along with National Poetry Day at the Hamilton Garden Place Library. The programme commenced with a Unity Lunch at Sky City, Hamilton, followed by assembly at the Garden place Library. President Pradeep Kapoor welcomed the attendees comprised of children, youth and old. Members of different religions and ethnicity from the length and breadth of the town and nearby Morrinsville graced the occasion


Suman Kapoor gave a brief opening speech stating the importance of establishing cross-cultural relationship and participation of people of Indian origin from India, Pakistan, Fiji and New Zealand in celebrations like this one. 


The highlight of the occasion was little Smuriti Sharma who was dressed up as 'Bharat Mata' i.e. Mother India who cut a tricolored cake which was relished by all. This was followed by a patriotic poem in ethnic language about struggle for India's Independence composed and recited by Somnath Gupta, a Gujarati Kathiavadi poetry sung by Jayantkumar Thanki, a quiz by Savitri Naidu. Madan Singh Bange (Country Section) impressed all with his sound knowledge of India's history. David Searle who hails from Dunedin recited a self composed poem on the iconic landmark of Hamilton the Barge that stood on the Waipa Delta for decades which has ceased to exist.  Favourite sing along songs were sung by Purshottam Shrivastava visiting NZ from India and Savitri Naidu Kiwi Indian from Fiji. Taqui &. Itrat Mehndi (Pakiwi) sang a beautiful song popularly known as 'Kaumi Nagma' which literarily means, a Community Song the chorus of which was sung by one and all but mainly by Sadaf Naveed, Neena Sharma, and Beljit Kaur.

GOPIO Waikato Celebrates India Independence Day

Photo above: GOPIO-Waikato officials with dignitaries and artists 


Suman Kapoor acknowledged all for taking out time from their busy schedules to attend the programme. She expressed her special thanks to Arti Sharma who had shown great enthusiasm and leadership in making the necessary arrangements for the event by arranging the cake, distributing sweets and dressing up her daughter as Bharat Mata; Michelle Liu for designing the beautiful invite flyer; and the Library Staff especially Lisa Pitchard and Debbie Lascelles for their valuable support and letting the venue.




GOPIO-CT organized India Independence Day celebration with a flag hoisting, dignitaries and entertainment at the Stamford Government Center on Sunday, August 18th. Over 200 members of the Indian-American community, from toddlers to seniors, and elected officials gathered to celebrate 66 years of India's Independence and the hoisting of the American, Indian and Connecticut flags with singing of the American and Indian national anthems lead by students of the music school Raagavihaara. The guests at the event included Former Lt. Governor of Connecticut, Michael Fedele and Stamford Board of Finance Member David Martin, among many others. The program was sponsored by Rakesh Narang and Neelam Narang of Fairfield, Connecticut.


The US Stars and Stripes, the Indian Tricolor and Connecticut flags were hoisted by Michael Fedele and David Martin, event sponsor Rakesh Narang and GOPIO-CT President Shailesh Naik, with the singing of the American and Indian national anthems, led by the Indian-American youth dressed in their colorful national attire.


Both Fedele and Martin spoke on the occasion and praised the Indian-American community and GOPIO-Connecticut's leadership in organizing these events in Stamford. Rakesh Narang expressed his good wishes to India in his speech.


GOPIO-CT President Shailesh Naik, in his welcome speech wished India and the entire Indian Diaspora spread throughout the far corners of the world a very Happy Independence Day. He mentioned in his speech that the modern progressive and secular ideologies adapted by India have translated into a decade of strong economic development of India, but there is still more work to be done towards political stability, social cohesion and security. 


India Independence Day Celebrations 2013 in Stamford, CT

Photo above: From top left clockwise: Young girls performing a dance number; from .l. r. sponsor Rakesh Narang, Stamford Board of Finance Member David martin, Shailesh Naik and program coordinator Prakash Chakravarti; Former CT. Lt. Governor Michael Fedele raising the American flag; Children singing Indian National Anthem


GOPIO-CT also recognized over two dozen high school graduates at the event. Entertainment program included a patriotic song "Love you India" by Arunodhaya Dance Academy and a rendition of the song, 'Sare Jahan Se Accha' by local Indian youth. Also young Anjo Therattil spoke about India's Independence.




The GOPIO-Tel Aviv Chapter in Israel participated in the celebration of India's 67th Independence day at the Ambassador's residence. The celebration opened with the hoisting of the Indian flag by the Ambassador Jaideep Sarkar and the singing of the National Anthem.  Ambassador Jaideep Sarkar then addressed the guests and read out the President's address to the nation.bThis was followed by an entertaining program by the Indian soldiers from the UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) who gave a performance of Indian folk dances like the Bhangra and Lezhim. The Mizo people too presented the bamboo dance. The GOPIO group presented a bouquet to Ambassador Sarkar and his wife Mrs. Minoka Sarkar. Refreshments were served to the guests and the day ended on a good note. 


GOPIO-Tel Aviv Celebrates India Independence Day with Ambassador  Jaideep Sarkar  Photo above: GOPIO-Tel Aviv officials with Indian Ambassador Jaideep Sarkar




The Executive Committee members of the GOPIO London Chapter gave a briefing of the activities and future plan to Mr. Sunny Kulathakal, Executive Vice President of GOPIO International in a meeting held at Hilton Hotel, Dartford on 17 August 2013. 


Mr Kulathakal presented a copy of the GOPIO book published during GOPIO convention held at Kochi, India 2013 to Deb Sen. Secretary of  GOPIO-UK Chapter.


Committee has agreed to participate at the GOPIO biennial convention to be held at Sydney, Australia on 8 & 9 November, 2013.

GOPIO London Meeting, August 17, 2013Photo: from l. to r.: Jinu Mathew Exec. Member, Geogy Varghese Treasurer, Koshy Thomas Vice President, Janeevan John  Joint Secretary, Sunny Kulathakkal, Exec. Vice President GOPIO Int'l and GOPIO-London Secretary Deb Sen.




On the occasion of "National Women's Day" in South Africa, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) joined in solidarity with GOPIO Women's Council and GOPIO's chapters in South Africa and globally, along with other organizations, institutions and individuals, to commemorate the national march of women on 9th August, 1956 to petition against legislation that required African persons to carry the "pass", special identification documents which curtailed an African's freedom of movement during the apartheid era. We pay honored tribute to the pioneers of this national struggle and recognize the successes achieved on behalf of women's rights, understanding the history, aspirations, challenges and achievements of South Africa's women under apartheid and leading up to democracy in South Africa.


As evidenced by the recent revelations of abuses against women in many countries, including South Africa, GOPIO also recognized that there is more to be done to correct the inequities confronting women, strive to address these issues, and seek remedies at all levels. GOPIO actively promotes awareness and understanding of women's issues of concern and interest in social, cultural, educational, economic and political spheres. Towards these objectives, GOPIO is convening its Women's Conference to be held on 9th November, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. The conference seeks to address current, critical issues confronting women of all ages globally, irrespective of race, religion or region.


Contacts: Sudesh Maharaj, president of GOPIO Durban at; Rita Abraham, Co-Chairperson of GOPIO Women's Council (South Africa) at




GOPIO continues its efforts to identify and appoint suitably qualified persons to fill vacant positions in GOPIO's various committees and councils. GOPIO International president Ashook Ramsaran, ably assisted by GOPIO international coordinators, council chairpersons and chapter officials, announces the following additional appointments made recently.


In making these appointments, Ramsaran stated that, "my objective is to further expand and grow GOPIO at all levels, to make it much more globally representative as GOPIO continues its vital outreach and service to an ever increasing population in the global Indian Diaspora".


Sheela Vyas (Netherlands)  GOPIO Women's Council Co-Chair Sheela Vyas

Co-Chairperson GOPIO Women's Council

MA (University of Amsterdam). Born in Uganda and raised in Netherlands. Worked as a consultant in the field of diversity management in both the private and public sector, manages empowerment projects from her consultancy 'Lotus and Tulip' concerning taboo subjects such as mental health and domestic violence. Founding member of the Women Council of the VON ( Vluchtelingen Organiaties Nederland) and secretary of the RLRA (de Raad voor Levensbeschouwingen en Religies Amsterdam). Currently serves as secretary of women's activities in GOPIO of Netherlands.



GOPIO's Director of Community Liaison in New York Mohinder Singh Taneja (New York, USA)

Director, Community Liaison

A GOPIO Life Member and long time supporter of GOPIO. An active and dedicated community advocate, working at all levels to network and bring together people of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds and religions. He has opened dialogue and planted the seeds of friendship and understanding amongst diverse communities throughout the New York Metropolitan area. Held several prominent positions including Nassau County including Director of Outreach Initiatives. 


Correction - In GOPIO News of June 10, 2013, please add that Shatrugan Sukdeo has been appointed as Director, Chapter Development, North America.





Southwest General Hospital, a 358-bed acute-care facility in Middlebury Heights, Ohio, has received a $3 million gift from one of its physicians, Vasu Pandrangi, and his wife, Lisa, for a $128 million hospital expansion project.


The campaign is the largest privately funded project underway in Cuyahoga County and the largest gift in the hospital's history. The expansion will include a new patient bed tower with 96 private patient rooms, which will be named Pandrangi Tower, in recognition of the Pandrangi family's gift. The project includes a new emergency room, a critical-care unit and an underground parking garage.


A plastic surgeon and chairman of the Southwest Community Health System board of trustees since 2007; Pandrangi is a former chair and a current member of Southwest General's medical staff. His wife is a registered nurse and has been involved in the Westlake School District. The family lives in Westlake, Ohio.


"For more than 32 years, Southwest General has been home to Lisa and me," said Pandrangi in a statement. "Our choice to make this donation was truly embedded in the fact that we want to see Southwest General's future flourish," the Indian American physician added.


"Southwest General has been a staple in the communities southwest of Cleveland since 1920. We hope that by giving back to this community hospital, others will do so as well."


Pandrangi has also donated funds to buy air conditioning units, stretchers and wheelchairs for King George Hospital's burn unit in India. The ER/critical care unit and the patient bed tower are expected to open in early 2014 and yearend 2014, respectively.




Kannappan Palaniappan from University of Missouri and BL Ramakrishna from Arizona State University are among the 2013-2014 Jefferson Science Fellows who begin their one-year assignments in mid-August. Initiative of the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the US Secretary of State, the Jefferson Science Fellows Program is designed to further build capacity for science, technology and engineering expertise within the US Department of State and US Agency for International Development.


Palaniappan directs the Center for Computational Imaging and VisAnalysis focusing on research at the synergistic intersection of image analysis, computer vision, parallel computing, information fusion and machine learning. Co-inventor of the Interactive Image SpreadSheet for interactive exploration of massive multispectral imagery, he is a recipient of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Scholarship, University of Missouri William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowships, Boeing Welliver Summer Faculty Fellowship and the NASA Public Service Medal.


Ramakrishna's research is expected to lead to an understanding of the engineering design principles adopted by a variety of living systems such as fungi and microbes, and could have applications in the areas of biosensors and silicon-bio hybrid devices. A PhD from the IIT Madras in 1982, he is dedicated to preparing engineers with cross-disciplinary knowledge, entrepreneurial spirit, global perspective and a sense of mission needed to lead the world to meet the great challenges facing humankind in the 21st century.


Those selected as Jefferson Science Fellows are chosen not only for expertise and leadership in their fields, but for interest in global issues, policy-making and promoting relations across cultures.




Kannan Soundararajan of Stanford, Rajeev Alur from Univ of Pennsylvania, Salil P. Vadhan of Harvard and Senthil Todadri from MIT were among the 13 mathematicians, theoretical physicists and theoretical computer scientists who have won 2013 Simons Investigators awards. They will each receive $100,000 a year for five years for their long-term research with the possibility of renewal for five additional years. The awards are given by New York-based Simons Foundation to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences.


Mathematician Soundararajan's work is focused on understanding the zeros and value distribution of L-functions, and on analyzing the behavior of multiplicative functions. The India-born professor has an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a PhD from Princeton.


Two of three awards in computer science went to Alur and Vadhan. Alur is a top researcher in formal modeling and algorithmic analysis of computer systems. He has BS and PhD degrees in computer science from IIT-Kanpur and Stanford University, respectively.


Vadhan has produced a series of original and influential papers on computational complexity and cryptography. He has a PhD in applied mathematics from MIT, a certificate of advanced study in mathematics from Churchill College at Cambridge University and AB in mathematics and computer science from Harvard University.


A professor of physics, Todadri's work with Fisher on Z2 topological order in models of spin liquid states has provided key insights and initiated the systematic investigation of gauge structures in many-body systems, now a vital subfield of condensed matter physics. Todadri has his Ph.D. from Yale and an undergraduate degree from IIT-Kanpur.




Legal luminary Vince Girdhari Chhabria has been nominated by US President Barack Obama to a key judiciary post in California. Chhabria, nominated to be US District Judge for the Northern District of California, is currently Deputy City Attorney for Government Litigation and as the Co-Chief of Appellate Litigation at the San Francisco City Attorney's Office, where he has worked since 2005.


"These men and women have had distinguished legal careers and I am honored to ask them to continue their work as judges on the federal bench," Obama said, adding that they will serve the American people with integrity and an unwavering commitment to justice. Once confirmed, Chhabria will be the first South Asian Article III judge in California.


Chhabria began his legal career by clerking for Judge Charles R Breyer of the US District Court for the Northern District of California. A member of the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California and NASABA, he was a speaker at the 2011 NASABA Convention in Los Angeles. Chhabria received his J.D. in 1998 from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and his BA in 1991 from the University of California, Santa Cruz.




The British government appointed Kumar Iyer as director general for UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) in India. This is a new top level post and has been created to reflect the increasing importance of business ties between the two countries. As UKTI director general, India, Iyer will have overall responsibility for the bilateral commercial and trade relationship. He will also be British deputy high commissioner for western India.


Since 2008, Iyer has been a high-ranking official at the British Treasury and the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit. He has an MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University where he was a Bank of England scholar and an undergraduate tutor in Microeconomics. He was also a Kennedy Scholar and Teaching Fellow in International Capital Markets at Harvard University.




President Barack Obama nominated Nisha Desai-Biswal, an accomplished Indian-American administrator to head the South Asia bureau in the US state department.


Desai will become the first person of Indian or even South Asian origin to head the bureau, which oversees US foreign policy and relations with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan. She is currently the assistant administrator with USAID, which is headed by Rajiv Shah.


Desai-Biswal's nomination is unprecedented in the sense that the South Asia bureau has always been headed by "all-American" diplomats, although there have been many mid-level staffers who are US-born but are of sub-continental origin.


A graduate of the University of Virginia she began her professional career in Washington DC with the American Red Cross in the mid-90s before she joined USAID. From 2005 to 2010, she was the Majority Clerk for the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee on the Committee on Appropriations in the US, a crucial position close to the purse strings of American foreign aid.


Her appointment was met with much delight in the Indian-American community as this is the first time an Indian-American is heading the South Asia bureau, a new milestone for the community.




Ravi Kumar, an alumnus of IIT Madras has been appointed Dean of the Nanyang Business School (NBS) in Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU).


Kumar previously served in several key positions at the University of South California's (USC) Marshall Business School, including vice dean for international programs and vice dean for graduate programs. He has also served as dean of the College of Business at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, a stint that saw the Korean college break into the top 100 of the Financial Times global MBA rankings.


Kumar also holds a Master of Science degree in industrial engineering from the University of Texas, and a doctorate in philosophy from the industrial engineering and management sciences department at Northwestern University in the US.




Governor Jerry Brown's appointment of Rupa S. Goswami of South Pasadena to the Los Angeles County Superior Court marks a historic first. She becomes the first South Asian American woman named to the judiciary in California.


Goswami has worked at the US Attorney's Office in the Central District of California since 2001. Goswami currently works in the Los Angeles-based Central District's environmental crimes section. Her previous positions in the district have included deputy chief of the general crime section, assistant U.S. attorney in the cyber crime section and working in the domestic security, immigration, terrorism and organized crime sections.


In a statement, Puneet V. Kakkar, co-president (with Goswami) of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California said Goswami has been a trailblazer with respect to the legal issues she tackles and the justice she accomplishes. All of this will only be multiplied now that she is on the bench."


Goswami, who grew up in rural Ohio and Florida, has a JD from the UCLA School of Law and an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago, where she received her bachelor's degree.



Sunetra Gupta, an India-born chemist and physicist has joined the big league of female scientists in a first-of-its-kind art exhibition at the prestigious Royal Society. The Royal Society display uses portraits by a range of artists to celebrate a few of the leading women in science titled - "does it make a difference?" including nutritionist Elsie Widdowson, astro-biologist Zita Martins among others.


A professor of theoretical epidemiology at Oxford University, Gupta is among an exclusive group as part of the Women in Science Portrait Exhibition of the greatest female fellows of the Royal Society together with newly-commissioned drawings featuring Royal Society Research Fellows.


Her main area of interest is the evolution of diversity in pathogens, with particular reference to the infectious disease agents that are responsible for malaria, influenza and bacterial meningitis.


The show has been curated by Uta Frith, a leading British developmental psychologist.



82-year-old Indian professor Surjit Hans, who translated all works of William Shakespeare into Punjabi, has been honored with a bust of the 18th century Bard of Avon.


Ealing Mayor Kamaljit S Dhindsa and deputy leader of the Labor Party of Ealing Council Ranjit Dheer presented the bust to Hans in appreciation of his works including translation of 38 plays of Shakespeare.


Hans taught history at Amritsar's Guru Nanak Dev University, said he is currently translating Charles Darwin's 'The Origin of Species' into Punjabi.





In a market where beauty brands and experts jostle for your attention, Shalini Vadhera has clearly got the edge. The 41-year-old Vadhera always had an eye for detail when it came to beauty, make-up and looking your best. With a mother born in Kenya, but hailing from Chandigarh, and a father born in Ludhiana, travel across geographies and cultures was a constant while growing up.


Says the Los Angeles-based beauty "As a young girl, I was absolutely enchanted by these gorgeous flight attendants on the airlines, and as siblings we would fight about who would get the first coconut oil scalp massage from our grandmother back in India." 


A push from her father at the right time took her to India to get a taste of life as an entrepreneur. As a 19-year-old, she started her own business in India, dabbling in knitwear export, and selling semi-precious jewelry to stores like Macy's and Nordstrom.


Her first break came in 2001, while she was completing her degree in international business in San Diego. A call from NBC Studios taking her on as a TV make-up artist for Jay Leno on 'The Tonight Show 'changed the course of her life. The following year saw the successful launch of her cosmetics company 'Global Goddess Beauty', which shared beauty secrets from across the globe, and also her best-selling book, 'Passport to Beauty'.


She plans to make a foray into the Indian market as early as the fall of 2013. "The opportunities are huge, and there is a desire and awareness for looking and feeling your best and women want the tools to do that." She is looking for established business partners who know India well, and are looking to bring a beauty brand into the country. Dot N' Feather Ideation (DFNI), a content company, which is Vadhera's co-creation with husband Tony Potts, is already in talks with a Mumbai-based media group for collaboration on a television show based on her life in the US. She is also working on another book inspired by inner beauty, which transcends the pressures of life and its ups and downs.



14-year-old Kavya from Saudi Arabia enthralled the audience at the Andal temple car festival at Srivilliputtur by drawing the picture of a parrot with her toes and feet, while dancing to set a record.

She outlined the parrot on a piece of canvas spread on the floor with a piece of chalk and then started painting the bird, by dipping her toes in the paint kept nearby. The deity Sri Andal holds a parrot made of leaves in her right hand and it is given away by devotees every day. Kavya drew a beautiful parrot measuring about two feet in seven minutes much to the awe of the onlookers.


A class 9 student of the Indian International School, it was her dream to exhibit her dancing skills at the Andal temple festival. Kavya's father Ramesh Babu, who is employed in Saudi Arabia, belongs to Chennai.





The Indian property sector is a promising growth market and it will continue to attract non-resident Indians, or NRIs, in the UAE, who have invested around Rs 15 billion in the sector.


NRIs are keen to invest back home and the current exchange rate will help ring five to nine per cent more investment in the sector this year.


It is the right time to invest in commercial and residential projects amid low exchange rates and the general election next year, which may slow down the sector's growth.


Tier one and two cities can see a 15 to 20 per cent and 10 to 14 per cent appreciation, respectively, although the growth might be less during 2014 as the country goes for the Lok Sabha election. However, [from] 2015 onwards, the markets should grow at the same pace.


The best cities to invest at the moment are the NCR [National Capital Region] and Bangalore as they have the maximum assured returns on investments.




A Dubai-based Indian journalist has published a collection his stories that have been printed in different newspapers across the Gulf region.


Distressing Encounters: Real Life Stories from a Reporter's Diary is V M Sathish's memoirs of the various aspects of life in the Gulf especially for expatriates who live away from their family to earn a living. The 787-page book contains over 600 human interest stories.


Sathish started his journalism career with the Indian Express in Mumbai and has been working in the Gulf region for several years. He has been an active member and office bearer of the Indian Media Forum UAE, which is an association of Indian journalists in the country.




Trust Members of Parliament to save their skin when confronted with uncomfortable questions on the proposed amendments to the Right to Information (RTI) Act. NRIs settled in the US initiated a unique Call-A-Thon to Indian MPs, requesting them to save the RTI Act which is sought to be diluted by the new amendments to keep political parties out of the ambit of its questioning - and urge them to ensure that, in public interest, political parties be covered by the RTI Act.


The activist NRIs, perturbed by the amendments to the RTI Act, decided to take some direct action and attempt to stall the tinkering of the law that has brought so much transparency into government functioning and empowered the common man, said its main initiator Suresh Ediga, a software engineer from New Jersey.

Ever since the amendments were announced, RTI activists across India have been making frantic attempts to get the amendments democratically stalled through Parliament. After running a brief pre-event on social networking site Facebook, Ediga managed to garner the support of around five-dozen NRIs expressed similar concerns and joined the case.

Around 300 MPs got calls from NRIs in the US and a majority of the responses were eye-openers for the long-distance callers. By and large, the NRI callers were stonewalled by the MPs' aides, who asked them many suspicious questions, demanding to know what their interest was in asking such questions when they were not living in India.


Besides the NRIs, volunteers from AID INDIA, People for Loksatta and other smaller groups, NGOs and RTI activists also took part in the Call-A-Thon.



In a first, three Indian-Americans and one with a strong Indian connection are running for elected offices as the running mates of a Democratic Party leader contesting for the Nassau County executive post. A county executive's job is similar to a Mayor in metro cities in the United States.


Mili Makhijani is running as a Democrat for the position of Town Clerk for the Town of Oyster Bay. She is an attorney, currently working as a Law Clerk to a Justice of the Supreme Court in Nassau County.


Andhra Pradesh-born Shaker Nelanuthala is contesting for the post of Council Member of the Town of Oyster Bay in Nassau County. Nelanuthala, a successful businessman is stepping on to the political stage for the first time to reverse spending and irresponsible tax increases on the Town of Oyster Bay residents.


Sid Nathen is running for North Hempstead Town Council Member, District 3. He is currently working for the Town of North Hempstead and is on leave of absence to run for the elections.


Laura Gillen, a person with a strong India connection and a practicing attorney, is a candidate for Nassau County Clerk. Gillen embarked on transformational journeys in 1995-96 to destinations in India, China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The focal point of her travel was an extended volunteer mission in Kolkata with the Missionaries of Charity, where she worked in Mother Teresa's home for the dying.




Over two lakhs people of Indian origin have opted for the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card every year since 2010 while one lakh OCI cards have been given out in the last 5 months.


Between February and July this year, the number of OCI cards has gone up to 13.72 lakh. In addition, there are 11,672 applications under process in 107 Indian missions and posts across the world.


The largest group of overseas citizens of India is in the US, which boasts of 5.2 lakh card holders, followed by the UK with 3.1 lakh people. Other countries that have a significant number of OCIs are Australia with 1.3 lakh and Canada with 1.1 lakh.


Not to be construed as dual citizenship, the OCI card provides multiple-entry, multi-purpose lifelong entry visa for visiting India and exemption from registration with local police authorities for any length of stay in the country. It also allows parity with non-resident Indians with respect to economic, financial and educational fields, facilitates inter-country adoption of Indian children, allows opening of bank account in India and be charged the same entry fees as NRIs at national monuments, national parks and museums.




Indians chasing the American dream have reason to cheer. In 2012, as many as 35,472 Indians with H-1B visas got green cards, up from 6,000 in 2011 - accounting for more than 50% of all green cards issued to H-1B holders for all countries in the year. The data from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) comes in the wake of a new Bill that focuses on attracting knowledge workers to the US by providing them citizenship.


The common impression is that the US is increasingly trying to keep foreigners out with new immigration walls. In reality, the US is also trying to attract the best brains from around the world and among the biggest beneficiaries are talented Indians.


A green card allows a person to live and work anywhere in America, and is a path to citizenship. Most Indians who got green cards in 2012 came from the EB-2 category, which includes professionals with advanced degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).


The number of green cards a country gets in a year cannot exceed 7% of the total available. The limit primarily restricts those born in India, China, Mexico and the Philippines, given the large numbers of applicants from these countries. However, most of the rest of the world does not come anywhere close to this quota. The unused numbers in a year from other countries are often given to countries that have long queues.




Hundreds of people gathered Monday evening to mark the one-year anniversary of a shooting rampage at a Wisconsin Sikh temple with a candlelight vigil in the parking lot where two of the six victims died.


The vigil brought to a close a weekend of events honoring the victims, who died when a white supremacist who didn't know them, opened fire. The gunman, who wounded five other worshippers and an Oak Creek police officer, killed himself in the same parking lot.


The shooting prompted an outpouring of support from around the world. Donors from the US, India, Canada, Britain and elsewhere have raised more than $1.1 million for the victims' families, many of whom left their possessions behind in India when they moved hastily to the Milwaukee area immediately following the tragedy.


Pardeep Kaleka, whose father died in the shooting, formed an unlikely alliance with a former white supremacist. Together he and Arno Michaelis visit local middle schools and high schools, with Michaelis describing his former life of hate and Kaleka explaining how that sort of hatred led to pointless bloodshed.


Other relatives have balanced their grief with the Sikh teaching of "Chardi Kala" (CHAR'-dee kuh-LAH'). The principle urges followers to remain optimistic and happy, even in the face of adversity, to show an acceptance of God's will.


Dr. Rajwant Singh, the chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, called on Sikhs themselves to do more to prevent similar tragedies. He advised Sikhs to get more involved in their local government and school boards to increase their visibility within the community.



GOPIO is a non-partisan, non-sectarian global organization with chapters in several countries, actively promoting the interests of people of Indian origin worldwide by monitoring and addressing current critical issues of concern, and by enhancing cooperation and communication between groups of Indians living in various countries.


GOPIO Individual Life membership is open to all who believe in the mission of GOPIO. The one- time fee is $5,000 for Platinum Life Membership, $2,500 for Gold Life Membership and $1,500 Silver Life Membership and half the amount for each category for those from developing countries and India.


GOPIO is looking forward to opening chapters in all major cities of the world so as to network people of Indian origin all over the world. If you do not have chapter in your city, please visit GOPIO website ( and get details of chapter initiation (visit Process involves sending a letter of intent to start a chapter by a committee of five people or more. For more information, contact:


GOPIO Chairman - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: +1-818-708-3885, E-mail:


GOPIO President - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York, USA, Tel: 718/939-8194, E-mail:


GOPIO Executive Vice President - Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, Tel: +973 39441956 or +91 9845756692, E-mail:


GOPIO Senior Vice President - Dr Piyush Agrawal, Weston, Florida, USA, Tel: +1-954-684-6494,


To become a Life member of GOPIO, one can sign up online at or fill up the form and send it with a check to: GOPIO International, PO Box 560117, New York NY 11356, USA.



Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder President and Chairman Emeritus of GOPIO Intl. and Executive Trustee, GOPIO Foundation (Stamford, CT, USA)

Editor: Nami Kaur, Secretary, GOPIO International (New York, USA)

Co-Editors: Bina Mahabir (Co-Chair GOPIO Media Council, Guyana-New York, USA), Nilofar Pardawala (Portland, Oregon, USA) and Kishor Kapitan (GOPIO Durban, South Africa)

Webmasters: Prashant Gupta (Hyderabad, India) and Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA)   

Contributors of this issue: Inder Singh (Chairman, GOPIO Intl., USA), Ashook Ramsaran (President, GOPIO Intl., USA), Deb Sen (Secretary, GOPIO-London, UK), Munish Gupta (GOPIO International Coordinator for Africa, New Delhi, India), Dr. Zafar Iqbal (President, GOPIO-Washington DC Capital Region, USA), Suman Kapoor (Chairperson, GOPIO International Women's Council, New Zealand), Shailesh Naik (President, GOPIO-CT, USA) 


Contact Dr. Thomas Abraham, Tel: 203-329-8010, E-mail:


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