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Issue: VII-11 December 5, 2008
December 5, 2008
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
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In a Press Statement issued on November 26, 2008, he Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) has expressed strong and unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist acts in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 that killed about 170 innocent people and left many more injured. GOPIO considers these brutal and despicable acts as unforgivable and unjustified criminal actions directed to create widespread fear among innocent citizens.
"These are indeed indiscriminate and heinous acts against humanity. GOPIO condemns this brutal and savage attack perpetrated against innocent citizens. We share the pain and anguish of our brethren and sisters in India, and extend our condolences to the families of the victims and offer prayers for the speedy recovery of those injured," said Inder Singh, President of GOPIO International.
"It is obvious that these continuing series of senseless attacks are meant to cause terror among our citizens" said  K. N. Gupta, President of GOPIO of India.  "Terror will not succeed as the will of decent people shall overcome such criminal acts", continued Mr. Gupta.
"These terrorists are enemies of India and enemies of humanity. We all grieve that such callous, inhumane and uncivilized crimes has been perpetrated against innocent people in the land of our birth and forbears," said Dr Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO International
GOPIO expresses deep and abiding concern for the victims of these national tragedies, their families, friends and associates. It is indeed a time of deep sorrow for India, a very nervous time for the people of Mumbai, foreigners affected by the heinous acts and citizens of India in general.
"We are very confident that the people of India will survive these national disasters while they retain courage, sense of dignity, pride, their values and their freedom. There is no doubt that a resilient nation as India will overcome these brutal and senseless attacks, GOPIO supports the Government of India in its efforts to prevent similar violence in the future," said Ashook Ramsaran, Secretary General of GOPIO
People of Indian origin (PIO), GOPIO chapters and many other Indian community groups have been organizing prayer and condolence meetings as well as solidarity marches all over the world. The following resolution was passed at a solidarity meeting in Los Angeles.
Whereas:                    The Indian-American community of Greater Los Angeles met at a prayer meeting in Anaheim, convened under  the aegis of the National Federation of Indian-American Associations  and the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin, on Sunday, November 30, 2008.
Whereas:                    The community expressed shock at the dastardly acts of terrorism unleashed, in the financial and tourist hub of Mumbai in against the civilian population of both Indian and foreign  nationalities.
Whereas:                    The events in Mumbai exposed massive deficiency in the Indian Intelligence operations that left the country open to attack, and underscored  the inadequate and antiquated preparedness of the Indian Security forces.
Whereas:                    The terrorists, with apparent links to  agencies within Pakistan, were able to invade Indian space without any challenge and then continued to tyrannize the city for almost sixty hours  causing the death of almost two hundred people and injuring more than three hundred in addition to inflicting million of dollarsʼ worth of property damage.
Whereas:                    The  Indian economy, which has prospered as a result of globalization, is now in jeopardy of reversal because of the negative image of India which has emerged as a result of the recent events.
Whereas:                    The Indian community feels indignant at the porous, insecure borders of India and that India is not a safe country to travel and  expresses concern at the apparent lack of will on part of India to seek solutions to the multiple problems which have led to the germination and perpetuation of terrorism, both indigenous and foreign.
Whereas :                   The Indian- American community wants to extend any assistance warranted  to mobilize western public opinion in India's favor and to  liaise with U.S. agencies to assist in better training of the Indian Police force and other first response teams.
It is therefore resolved:
                        The Indian American community extends condolences to the families of the victims of the said terrorist attacks and pays homage to members of the police force and the NSG commandos who laid down their lives in the service of the country and urges the government to compensate the families of victims, both Indian and foreign, for loss of life and/or sustaining injuries.
That:               The Government of India should seek international support to isolate and to eliminate the forces of terror within Pakistan, launch an international diplomatic offensive to stem the flow of support and finances to the terrorists ensconced in Pakistan or Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The U.S. Government should be urged to stop aiding Pakistan.
Original resolution was drafted by Dr. Parvin Syal of Los Angeles.
GOPIO International is planning to hold its annual executive and general council meetings, followed by its conference starting on January 6 and concluding on January 7 immediately preceding Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2009 events of January 8 - 9, 2009.  
The program schedule is as follows:
GOPIO Meetings & Conference Sessions
Chennai January 6--7, 2009
Program Summary

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009
12:00 Noon                Lunch
1:30 pm                     GOPIO Executive Committee Meeting (Not open to public)
3:00 pm                     GOPIO General Council Meeting (Not open to public)

4:00 pm                     GOPIO Council & Chapter Reports (Open to Public)

North America - Dr. Piyush Agrawal, Regional Vice President
South America & Caribbean - Amb. Krishna Nandoe, Regional Vice President
Middle East - Sunny Kulathakal, Regional Vice President
South East Asia - George Abraham, Regional VP and
     Dr. V.P. Nair, President, GOPIO Singapore
Pacific/Ocenia - Noel Lal, Regional Vice President
Europe - RajindreTewari, National Coordinator, The Netherlands
                        Birjinder Sodhi, President GOPIO Berlin
****  More speakers are to be added as attendance confirmation are received
7:00 pm           Awards Banquet with the Presentation of GOPIO Community Service Awards
Welcome: V. Narayanan, Convention Chair, Chennai
Welcome: K. N. Gupta, GOPIO India, New Delhi
Welcome: Inder Singh, President, GOPIO International, USA
Greetings: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International, USA
Inauguration Ceremony: Lighting of the Lamp
Chief Guest - Honorable Vayalar Ravi, Minister, Overseas Indian Affairs (Invited)
Presentation of GOPIO Community Service Awards 2009
Release of book The Cosmic Detectiveby Dr. Mani Bhaumik
The Cosmic Detective by Dr. Mani Bhaumikis packed with interesting facts and dazzling color photographs, an ideal primer designed for popularizing cosmology to people of all ages and backgrounds, especially the young.
UNESCO intends to distribute Dr. Bhaumik's book, The Cosmic Detective, to the 300 VIPs and 400 selected global students at the opening ceremony of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 on January 15, 2009 in Paris, France.
Recognition of Sponsors
Note of Thanks:Munish Gupta, Chairman of GOPIO Media Council
Wednesday, January 7th, 2009
Conference: Critical Issues of Interest and Concern to NRIs and PIOs

8:30 am                     Registration
9:15 am                     Session 1:       NRI/PIO Parents Coping at Home and Abroad
10:45 am                     Tea Break
11:00 am                     Session II:       NRI/PIO Contributions toProjects in Respective
12:30 pm                     Lunch
2:00 pm                       Session III:         Business and Investment Challenges and
Opportunities in a Global Financial Crisis Scenario
3:30 pm                     Tea Break
3:45 pm                       Session IV:      Current Issues Confronting NRIs/PIOs (Real Estate
Ownership, Adoption Laws, Misuse of Anti-Dowry Law (IPC - 498a), NRI Parentship Issue, etc. ...)
5:00 pm                     Resolutions & Wrap-up
Dr. Mani Bhaumik is a physicist, internationally bestselling author, celebrated lecturer, entrepreneur, and a philanthropist. His early contributions to laser technology are exemplified in the development of the excimer laser at the Northrop Corporation Research and Technology Center in Los Angeles . His discovery found extensive use as the type of laser that made possible the immensely popular Lasik eye surgery, eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses in many cases requiring vision correction.
Dr. Bhaumik had the opportunity to live and labor with Mahatma Gandhi in his camp. He a PhD in Physics from IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) and a Sloan Foundation Fellowship for his post doctoral work at UCLA. He has been elected by his scientific peers to be a fellow of both the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Conference Registration
GOPIO Convention Registration Fee: Rs. 1,200. Waived for first 50 people who register prior to December 25, 2008. Prior registration is mandatory. Total registration will be limited to 150 delegates. Limited number of Jan. 6th banquets only registration available at Rs. 800 per person. To register, send an E-mail to GOPIO Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran in the US E-mail: or call him at 718-353-1900. Registration is mandatory to attend proceedings of January 7th.
The conference in Chennai is coordinated by V. Narayanan Tel: 91-98410-46342, e-mail:
For more information on GOPIO Convention 2009, please contact: GOPIO President Inder Singh in USA at 818-708-3885, E-mail: or K N Gupta, President, GOPIO of India at (91)-98-1113-1588 or E-mail at
The objectives of these sessions are to bring issues of larger interest to the community and to take appropriate steps and pass resolutions followed campaigns to correct such issues. GOPIO is seeking speakers for these sessions or suggestions on organizations who are involved in such issues. Please contact GOPIO President Inder Singh at 818-708-3885 or E-mail:
GOPIO International is planning to hold its annual Community Service Awards Banquet on January 6, 2009 in Chennai preceding GOPIO's conference on January 7. The GOPIO Community Service Awards (GOPIO CSA) are given for outstanding community service, public service and/or significant charitable or philanthropic contributions of benefit to the community.
Nominations of suitable qualified candidates are requested for consideration by GOPIO CSA Selection Committee. For details of GOPIO CSA criteria and format for submission of nominations, visit
Nominations are to be submitted by December 10, 2008 to the attention of Ashook Ramsaran, Secretary General of GOPIO International at
Parvasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is the annual flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) which aims to connect more 25 Million Indians with India's Economic and Social development.  The Ministry is organizing Seventh edition of the PBD on 7-9 January, 2009 in Chennai, the South Indian city in Tamilnadu. The role of overseas Indians in the country's emergence as a global power will be the main theme. The event will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil will address the concluding session of the three-day meet.
During the annual meet, the Diaspora's role in India's emergence as a global power will be the focus of deliberations. The congregation of Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) will also dwell upon aspects like preservation of language and culture and health concerns of Indian Diaspora. Regional working sessions of the Diaspora residing in the Gulf, Asia-Pacific, Africa, USA, Europe, Caribbean and Canada will be organized.
A special trade and industry exhibition during the event with corporate, state governments, NGOs and financial institutions as participants will also be held as part of the convention, an official statement said.
Early this year, more than 1,500 participants from 50 countries had attended the PBD 2008 meet.
January 7-9, 2009

The seventh PBD is also projected as a platform where issues of social concern of regional diaspora groups could be discussed in details. There will be parallel sessions of different regions - such as Gulf and the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Africa, USA etc - where there is significant Indian presence.
The Indian Diaspora estimated at over 25 million is rapidly scaling up its professional achievements, income levels, and influence. The role of the Diaspora extends beyond its country of residence to the country of origin, and to building strong linkages between the two and the rest of the world. The emergence of India as a world power would also depend in considerable measure on the contributions of the Diaspora and its role in global affairs.
PBD 09 seeks to identify ways in which the Diaspora can partner in India's development. How can the Diaspora and India build synergy for mutually beneficial ventures? This session will evolve ways to help deepen and strengthen the Diaspora engagement within itself, with India, and with the rest of the world to become a potent force in shaping India's emerging role on the world stage.

The annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention provides a much needed platform to the Overseas Indian Community for exchange of views on ways and means to fulfill their aspirations and expectations from the land of their ancestors. It also provides opportunities for exploring mutually beneficial trade & business relationships and for networking among the community. Celebration of the day every year symbolizes the continued interest of the government of India in the progress and well-being of the Overseas Indian Community.

The formation of a separate Ministry to look into the affairs of Overseas Indians has sent across a positive signal vis-a-vis the importance India attaches to its diaspora. Various steps taken by the Ministry have further strengthened the already strong traditional cultural ties of the togetherness that the Indian Community has with the land of their forefathers.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention 2009 - Theme: Engaging the Diaspora: The Way Forward
The 7th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention is scheduled to be held at the Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai from 07-09 January 2009. Organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in partnership with the State Government of Tamil Nadu and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), it would be the first PBD Convention organized in Chennai.

PBD Conventions provide a platform for exchange of views and networking to the Persons of Indian Origin settled all over the world on matters of common interest. Such Conventions have helped the Government to better understand the expectations of the Overseas Indian Community from the land of their ancestors and acknowledge the important role played by it In India's efforts to acquire its rightful place in the comity of nations.

Among the decisions taken by the Government of India as a result of wider consultations held at these Conventions, are formulation of the Overseas Citizenship of India, establishment of Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre, Conceptualisation of PIO University, formation of Prime Minister's Global Advisory Council of People of Indian Origin, and the proposed India Development Foundation. A series of Programs e.g. Know India Program and Scholarship Program for Diaspora Children are also designed specifically for Diaspora youth.

Among other things, the 7th PBD Convention would have sessions on the preservation of Diaspora language and culture and the importance of Diaspora as facilitators and bridge builders. The highlights of PBD 2009 include an Exhibition on Trade & Industry, live demonstrations by craftsmen, cultural evenings and post convention tours.

The Convention would be inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India on 8th January. The President of India would deliver the valedictory address and also confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards for 2009 on 9th January. 
The online Registration for PBD-2009 is now open through the website or go directly to the registration page To register, visit:
The MOIA ministry official in a communiqué has suggested to those who want participate to register early to avoid any inconvenience related to accommodation and other arrangement at a much later date.
Contact: N. Balasubramaniyan, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India, Akbar Bhawan, Chankyapuri, New Delhi - 110021, Tel: + 91-11-24197910, Fax: + 91-11-24197942, Email:, Website: or Madhu Pillai, Director, Confederation of Indian Industry, The Mantosh Sondhi Centre, 23, Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi - 110003, Tel: + 91-11-24629994 - 7, Fax: + 91-11-24601298, Email:


GOPIO Sydney North West, GOPIO Sydney South West and GOPIO Sydney Chapters are holding a lecture on "What Makes Indian Entrepreneurs Globally Successful" with invited Financial Guru, Dr Sid Gautam, Director, Entrepreneur Institute in North Carolina, USA, who is an expert motivational speaker on business entrepreneurship.
The event is planned for Saturday, December 6, 2008, from 5.00pm to 6.00pm at the Andrew Cook Room Community Centre, Corner of Targo & Toongabbie Roads in Toongabbie.
Admission is free and snacks will be served. Seats are limited, please RSVP ASAP
For more information, contact: Jagdish Lodhia, President of GOPIO of Sydney Southwest at 041-478-6242 email at

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 President - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: 818-708-3885, E-mail:

GOPIO Executive Vice President - Lord Daljit Rana, UK, Tel:  +44 28-9807-8787, Email:

GOPIO Secretary General - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York City, Tel: 718/939-8194, E-mail:


To become a Life member of GOPIO, visit, print and fill up the form and send it with a check to: GOPIO, P.O. Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904, USA.



Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO (Stamford, CT, USA)

Editors: Ashook Ramsaran, GOPIO General Secretary (New York, USA); and Munish Gupta, GOPIO Media Chair (Los Angeles, Calif)

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

Contributors of this issue: Inder Singh (USA)

GOPIO NEWS welcomes NRI/PIO related stories from all over the world. Be a volunteer correspondent or reporter. Contact Dr. Thomas Abraham, Tel: 203-329-8010, E-mail:


Visit GOPIO's Official site at or