Indian Overseas Congress Celebrated 75th Indian Independence Day

Indian Overseas Congress USA participated India Day Parade.

Indian Overseas Congress, USA, celebrated 75th Indian Independence Day by participating in The India Day Parade organized by (IDPUSA) on Sunday, August 08, 2021.
Under the leadership of Hon President Mohindar Singh Gilzian and Secretary-General Shri Harbachan Singh, IOC members gathered with indian flags and remembered the historic day remembering pluralism and inclusiveness. The team also, remembered the farmers back in India striving for their rights.

 

On behalf of the Indian Overseas Congress – USA, the leadership team expressed sincere thanks to all those who participated overcoming all the odd situations on a rainy day.

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Indian Overseas Congress USA in association with Kerala Chapter, celebrating Independence Day with Mr. VD Satheeshan, Hon LOP, Kerala Assembly

 

Indian Overseas Congress USA in association with Kerala Chapter, celebrating Independence Day with Mr. VD Satheeshan, Hon LOP, Kerala Assembly

IOC USA, Kerala Chapter, has organized a Zoom Meeting with VD Satheeshan, Leader of the Opposition party, Kerala Assembly on August 15th Evening, 9 AM Eastern Time. Dr. Sam Pitroda, Chairman of IOC, Mr. Himanshu Vyas, AICC Secretary for Overseas, Mr. George Abraham IOC USA Vice Chairman,  Mr. Mohindar Singh Gilzian IOC USA President, Ms. Leela Marett, IOC USA , Kerala Chapter President will be presiding the meeting. All are invited to be part of the event by joining the virtual meeting. 

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84420425704?pwd=bUo1WlBwd3RMbWRnOHFJZHF4MHl4Zz09

Meeting ID: 844 2042 5704
Passcode: ioc

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Independence Day Celebrations on August 8, Please Join

Indian Overseas Congress USA, joining hands with India Day Parade. All participants are requested to assemble at Patel Brothers, Hicksville, Long Island, New York.

The India Day Parade (IDPUSA) is a historic event on Long Island bringing together more than 100 organizations to celebrate the independence of India. The Indian-American community of Long Island, secular in its spirit, brings together cultural, religious, and not-for-profit associations under one umbrella to host the India Day Parade (IDP) this year on Sunday, August 08, 2021.
The parade will start at “PATEL BROTHERS” Plaza, from Broadway, and will end at the “BADSHAH FARMERS MARKET” at 520 South Broadway Hicksville, where we will have snacks, water, soda, and cultural programs. Bollywood actress Ms. Kajal Aggarwal will graciously participate with us as the chief guest. Hon Council General Mr. Randhir Jaiswal will be preceding the independence day parade. 

On behalf of the Indian Overseas Congress – USA, we invite you as the “Guest of Honor” to grace us with your presence at this prestigious event to express our gratitude and support towards the community.

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Sam Pitroda’s new book argues for resetting the world and then designing it afresh

This is the time to look at a world redesign beyond the narrow national interests of America or China, one which would serve the best interests of the planet and the people. The future is not only about national pride, business, markets, religion or race, with the bogey of an enemy at the border; it is about climate change and human development.

Now is the time to move from violence and military options to non-violence and the imperative of peace. This will require collaboration, as opposed to confrontation and competition. It may be all right to compete in certain areas. Still, it is more important to cooperate on strategic issues related to the planet and the people of the world. Here, political leadership matters. Suppose world leaders do not come together at this crucial moment. In that case, we will indeed be riding a path to permanent destruction.

Global leaders need to recognise that the future belongs to globalists and not nationalists. It is not about an international liberal order, but global peace and prosperity for all. It is about empowering every human being to explore and experience life and nature in their own way, with freedom and flexibility. This will require respect, sharing, caring and teamwork among world leaders. It will demand a functional and friendly relationship between world powers.

The redesign of democracy, capitalism, environment and institutions is not going to be simple. It will require a deeper understanding and appreciation of human values and our character, and addressing climate change issues with the spirit of sacrifice and long-term perspectives. It will also need the collaboration of communist leaders from China and Russia, monarchs from the Middle East, and others.

I have great faith in humanity, and I believe we have evolved to a point where we can change the course of human history by redesigning the world for the next era of non-violence, peace and prosperity for all.

We essentially need a “third vision” of the world that transcends national interests and takes into account global issues, from trade to environmental impacts. We need a vision that values human capital more than financial capital. A vision that works for everyone to attain a multipolar world, where people at the bottom of the economic pyramid benefit the most.

We need to ask the world’s people: Do they want to live forever with poverty and hunger, with inequality and unemployment, under the shadow of discrimination and fear, with the police at every corner and the military at all borders? Or do they want to live in peace with friendly neighbours, in a clean environment, and with respect, dignity, equality, opportunities and hope for all? The present reality is scary. Don’t we want to change it?

We do not want just the “open” vision of America or the “closed” vision of China. We want a third vision of the world where America is open to engagement, and China is engaged in openness. We want a reset of the world so that we can redesign it.

We want to reset international interests over national interests, human diversity over human differences, globalism over nationalism, inclusion over exclusion, non-violence over violence, rationality over religion, and respect over race. We want international cooperation on climate change, global health, poverty, hunger, violence, security, amity with neighbours and much more.

I firmly believe that it is possible to redesign the world with this third vision because multiple, intricate and timely technologies with incredible innovations in information, genetics, bio, nano and material sciences are now all coming together. They are taking deep roots across the social, political and economic landscape, which will profoundly impact our livelihood and longevity. T

his will give new meaning to life, work, values, wisdom and progress. It will lead to a new development model based on cooperation, collaboration and communication, which can finally deliver peace, justice and prosperity to all by the middle of this century.

We are so used to thinking and behaving traditionally with our narrow compartmentalisation of people and their ideas, values and experiences. We always tend to look at past experiences and our history to find solutions. We find pleasure in the past, comfort in the present, and fear for the future.

The future is prosperous with new bold ideas and different toolkits, such as hyperconnectivity, which did not exist earlier. The future demands a new mindset with creativity, innovation and courage. I firmly believe that we are at a crossroads because of hyperconnectivity.

We must think very differently to redesign the global organisational architecture. Only with this can we achieve new goals and growth for humanity’s sake. Connectivity is the key to break our past, transcend our present, and build bridges to network for the future.

Recently, a bright young friend of mine showed me a new dimension to global power and conflicts with a different perspective to what I had visualised. He opened my eyes to religion’s essential role in society’s organisational architecture and its associated conflicts and wars. There are basically four significant religions globally which mobilise the masses and organise power: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

All significant conflicts, wars and invasions have been carried out predominantly by the big powers like the Romans, Ottoman, Moguls, British Empire, etc, to expand power, influence, control and wealth. He argued that the concept of time for Christianity and Islam is absolute: you live, and you die.

On the other hand, the concept of time for Hinduism and Buddhism is infinite: you continue through rebirth for another cycle. He feels this may have something to do with the idea of accumulating wealth and power in one lifetime. He also pointed out that the wars in Pearl Harbour, Korea and Vietnam were rare wars between Christianity and Buddhism. The ongoing conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and others are wars between Christianity and Islam. 9/11 may be considered a blow by Islam against the only superpower in the world.

Many people feel that global diversity is not represented at the UN Security Council. Why is Islam, which includes in its fold 1.3 billion people, not at the table? Neither is India, with almost 1 billion Hindus. My friend emphasised the fact that power likes to hide behind religion.

To me, that made a lot of sense. In my heart, I am Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, atheist and a lot more. To me, all religions inculcate fundamental human values and promote goodness in people. Perhaps it is obvious, but when you put these things in perspective, it is clear that the challenge going forward will be to build bridges with all religious organisations and associated power centres, provided they have genuine respect for each other with a commitment to peace, prosperity and non-violence. Only by doing this can we together take humanity to the next level.

Bold and brave ideas are essential for driving our new world vision now. Unfortunately, we have always looked for solutions in the economy and the market, technology, military or ideology – we have never explored humanism in our quest for solutions.

First, we must understand, appreciate and internalise the simple fact that our planet is a unique interconnected and integrated system where soil and sand, birds and insects, animals and people are all interdependent. We live off the same system of air, water, flowers and forests. Peace, the economy, the environment and health issues are also interconnected and interrelated. The key is to strive for unity with respect, equality and equity for all living systems.

We have to ask what belongs to whom on our planet. Who owns the Amazon forests? Do they belong to Brazil or to the world? Should we all not be concerned about what happens to the Amazon? Our rivers? Our oceans? What affects one affects all of us. What happens to Africa in the next twenty-five years will affect America, China, India and the entire world. We need to think from the viewpoint of biology, life and dynamic assets, and not merely markets or material and static assets.

We must remember that the concept of modern states and national borders began only recently. We may live within boundaries and borders, but we must think beyond them with an eye out for humanity at large. The best way to understand what is right for society, the world and the future is to ask young people what they want. They will tell you that they wish to have love, a clean environment, home, education, health, family, friends and fun. They do not want violence, war, power or riches. The answers are simple. We make it complicated.

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An Evening with Praveen Chakravarthy , organized by Indian Overseas Congress – USA

Indian Overseas Congress – USA is organizing a meetup dinner with Praveen Chakravarthy, Chairman of the Data Analytics department, Indian National Congress on July 01, 2021, @ JASSIS FINE Indian Cuisine. 

Indian Overseas Congress USA Web portal will be inaugurated by Mr. Chakravarthy in the presence of Dr. Sam Pitroda, Chairman Indian Overseas Congress. presided by IOC USA President Hon. Mohindar Singh Gilzian and IOC USA Vice President Mr. George Abraham. Secretary-General Mr. Harbachan Singh, IOC USA Executive Committee, and members will be part of the event.

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JOIN THE CONGRESS SOCIAL MEDIA, BE PART OF AN ARMY OF TRUTH

The Congress has launched a platform to recruit people from across the country irrespective of age, gender, class, creed or caste. The nationwide campaign aims to recruit five lakh “social media warriors” to challenge the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the digital space. The Party recognises that it is time for like-minded individuals in the country to come together and defend the idea of India. As a society, we must step up, unite and fight for our democratic, secular and just Republic of India. This huge recruitment drive will encompass appointments in all stages – from the state to the national level.

On the new social media recruitment drive, Congress leader Shri Rahul Gandhi strongly encouraged the youth of India to join the Congress party’s “army of truth” to fight the trolls paid by the ruling party on digital platforms. In a video message on Twitter, Rahul Gandhi said, “The backbone of the attack on this nation is a troll army, thousands of people who spread hatred, anger and are paid to do so.” He added that the paid troll army is spreading hatred and anger in India and the time has come to counter that. “As a young person, you could see what is going on… In your schools, universities and colleges you can see the oppression. You can see the attack on the idea of India. Look outside Delhi, you can see what is happening to the farmers. The backbone of this war on the nation is a troll army… We also need warriors to defend liberal values, to defend the ideas of compassion, peace, harmony and affection,” Rahul Gandhi said.

“This is an army of truth. This is an army that will defend the idea of India. We are building this platform for you. To give you tools to fight this battle and win,” he further explained.

Handles of the Congress Social Media have been one of the loudest voices against the tyrannical rule of the Modi regime. It has raised the people’s voice on various issues – farmers, migrant workers, women’s safety, student’s education, the dismal state of our economy and the rising unemployment, our Armed Forces and more. Handles have countered the Modi government’s lies and hateful propaganda and have shown the public the truth.

The Congress seeks to build on this trajectory and continue this work by inviting more people to join in this mission to save India from hate and lies. This recruitment drive will take place in every state of the country and is open to anyone who wants to be a part of this mission. One can join through the website – (www.incsmw.in) or (www.incsmwarriors.com), call on the toll-free number 1800 1200 00044 or by WhatsApp on 7574000525.

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Book Excerpt: Sam Pitroda, Technology and Three Near-Death Experiences

One morning, I received a call from Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi: he wanted me to meet with the president of Vietnam, who was then on a visit to Delhi. That same afternoon, I spent an hour with him discussing telecom, technology missions and India’s software industry.

After carefully listening to me through a translator, he told me that he would be sending General Giap to spend some time with me in Delhi. While studying in America during the Vietnam War, I had often heard of General Giap: he was one of those rare generals who, in Vietnam, had fought against both the French and later against the Americans. He was the most prominent military commander during the Vietnam War, other than Ho Chi Minh, and was responsible for leadership and operations until the war ended. He died in October 2013 at the age of 102.

In Delhi, General Giap and I spent a full day at C-DOT, talking about our indigenous design and manufacturing efforts, the role of information technology, and the technology benefits for the people at the bottom of the economic pyramid. He listened carefully, took notes, asked questions and was keen to learn from the Indian experience. After his visit, C-DOT started exporting rural exchanges to Vietnam to improve their village communication. Similarly, I hosted General Electric (GE) chairman Jack Welch during his first-ever official visit to India and convinced him to buy Indian software talent. He was generous enough to send a team of GE experts that ultimately resulted in our first $10 million order for software services. This marketing approach resulted in orders from IBM, Texas Instruments, Motorola and others to kick-start the Indian software export business. Rajiv Gandhi and I also convinced Gorbachev at the prime minister’s house in Delhi to buy Indian consumer goods, computer hardware and software.

We worked with the Soviet Union to establish a massive Indian science and technology exhibition in Moscow, Leningrad and Tashkent. On the one hand, we promoted our technology, and on the other, we resisted offers from multinationals like Siemens, GEC and Ericsson to import equipment to build the Indian network. I opposed large loans from the World Bank for telecom equipment import. On one occasion, the president of the World Bank visited Delhi to have lunch with us and persuade us to reconsider. It was clear that we would avail of loans only to buy what we need, not for what the Bank wanted to sell. In 1989, Rajiv Gandhi lost the elections, and the new government in power got after me with a sense of revenge, raising allegations, abuses, threats and false corruption charges. They knew well that I took only a 1-rupee salary (then just 10 cents in the US) per year for almost ten years.

In the process, I had a heart attack and a quadruple bypass at a hospital in Delhi. Young C-DOT associates, the Indian public and the media came to my rescue and convinced the government to change the minister who was after me and set things right. After that, the government announced a new national election. I worked closely with Rajiv Gandhi as part of his team to help ensure victory. On 21 May 1991, at 10 p.m., I received a call from a friend informing me that Rajiv Gandhi had been assassinated by a suicide bomber during his campaign visit in southern India. I was shocked and shaken. All my dreams for India disappeared in a moment. The news broke my heart. I strongly felt that India would take a long time to recover from this loss. I had spent all the money I had had managing my family in India and the US. I was broke. I had two children ready to go to college.

Finally, I decided to come back to the US to start earning again. Unfortunately, before taking my assignment with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, I had given up my US nationality in 1987. I came back to the US on a tourist visa, but I was not allowed to work. Fortunately, I owned a US patent issued in 1975 for the I-electronic diary. I realized that several multinational corporations (MNCs) were manufacturing and marketing my invention. I filed a case in the Cook County court against Casio, Toshiba, Sharp, HP, Texas Instruments and RadioShack and settled for a hefty cash amount, which enabled me to restart my life. It was strange that I had to use a tourist visa to come back to my own country. I have always felt that I belong to at least two countries—my birthplace, India, that gave me my roots, and my adopted nation, the US, which gave me my tools and my understanding of technology. I am equally committed to both countries. I do not have to choose sides. I can be in both countries at the same time. I admire the good and reject the bad in each of them. Both are democratic countries with freedom, flexibility, diversity and loving people. After a while, I applied for a green card in the US and focused on building an electronic manufacturing company in Wisconsin. However, that did not challenge me enough. I wanted to do something for the telecom industry in emerging markets and use my Indian experience to benefit Asia, Africa and Latin America. That vision led me to Worldtel in London. In 1995, nearly four out of every five people in the world lacked the most basic telephone services. To help privatize telecom and get the needed investments in emerging markets, the International Telecom Union (ITU), a part of the UN organization, decided to launch Worldtel. This organization functioned as an investment bank/fund to develop and support privately funded telecom projects in nations where the need was most urgent. ‘Worldtel’s mission was to break the vicious circle that exists in developing countries,’ the ITU launch announcement stated.

Sound telecommunication capacity and capability were needed to stimulate economic growth. However, dysfunctional telecommunications deterred private investment. This was a Catch-22 situation that we hoped to cut through by Worldtel’s initiative. I was named Worldtel’s chairman in 1995. I thought we had the potential to make a significant impact on communications in the Third World. The objective of Worldtel was to focus exclusively on telecommunications and information technology, and provide direct equity investment raised from private financial investors for implementing projects that would improve telecom infrastructure in developing countries. In the process, Worldtel improved operating skills and provided management support to help enhance productivity and efficiency. Worldtel investors were AIG, GE, Intel, NatWest and others.

I went to China for the first time after President Richard Nixon’s visit in 1981, as part of a delegation of around twenty telecom experts. I spent two weeks meeting telecom experts in Beijing, Nanking and Shanghai. We also went to tourist attractions, including the Great Wall. In those days, all we could see were bicycles, Chairman Mao’s uniform, empty roads and people staring at white foreigners. Telecom was mainly electromechanical and hardly available. After that, I worked with local government organizations to explore Tianjin’s digital switching operations: however, this never materialized. Now China is, of course, a different country altogether. While working at Worldtel, I founded a US company in 1998 to design and develop a mobile wallet. Those were the early days of the mobile wallet concept. I applied for close to fifty patents on this idea and set up design and business development teams in Chicago, Tokyo, Beijing, Singapore, Baroda, Pune and Vienna. Later in 2013, I sold the company to Mastercard. When I was working on the mobile wallet company, I found I had contracted cancer, requiring major surgery.

Five years after that, I would need another quadruple bypass. I was concerned, but I survived the second open-heart surgery. Three near-death experiences—two quadruple heart bypasses and one from cancer—have moulded my views on what is essential in life and what is not.

Excerpted and published with the permission from Penguin Random House

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Indian Overseas Congress USA appoints new leaders

The Indian Overseas Congress, USA, appointed six new Secretaries and a new Chapter President recently, in a bid to strengthen the organization.

Nikhil Thagadur (Photo IOC-USA)

The six Secretaries who received letters of appointment are Nikhil Thagadur, Rajan Padavathil, Hirenkumar M. Patel, Rajdeep Singh Sandhu, Gurinderpal Singh, and Anurag Gawande. Amey Duduskar was appointed new Chapter President of Maharashtra Chapter.

Rajan Padavathil (Photo courtesy IOC-USA)

Each of the appointees was selected based on demonstrating their keen interest in serving IOC, USA, and had individually recruited dozens of new members to augment the organization’s strength, a Nov. 30, 2020 press release said. Their experience and past engagement is expected to strengthen the organization.

Hirenkumar M. Patel (Photo:courtesy IOC-USA)

The IOC, USA said that it has has been continuously taking various steps to reinforce and augment the organization to meet its obligations and responsibilities, particularly to its membership and the Indian American community in the country.

Rajdeep Singh Sandhu (Photo: courtesy IOC-USA)

During the pandemic, IOC, USA held numerous meetings with its membership using Zoom, and invited dignitaries from India to participate and discuss developments at the All India Congress Committee.

“IOC,USA has sprung ahead significantly under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Sam Pitroda,” the press release said. Pitroda is a businessman based in Chicago and has held advisory positions in India on developing the telecom infrastructure in that country.

Gurinderpal Singh (Photo: courtesy IOC-USA)

Congratulating the appointees, Pitroda, the Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress Department of AICC, wished them success in their new undertakings and advised them to visualize and seek solutions to problems and obstacles in using modern technology while bearing in mind the new needs of the post Covid 19 world.

Anurag Gawande (Photo: IOC-USA)

Secretary-in-charge, Indian Overseas Congress of AICC, Himanshu Vyas wished the appointees well. Vice-Chairman, George Abraham, felicitated the appointees and emphasized the importance of their IT knowledge and experience and impressed upon them to use it to its maximum.

President Mohinder Singh Gilzian, expressed delight at the prospects of the appointees’ added strength, and said he was very hopeful of the value of the contribution that they were capable of making and looked forward to working with them closely.

Amey Duduskar (Photo: courtesy IOC-USA)

Secretary-General, Harbachan Singh, who played an important role in the appointment process, said he was encouraged by their enthusiasm and advised them to work in unison as part of the team.

Various other IOC, USA officials expressed their support as well, including Senior Vice President, Phuman Singh Ibrahimpur, Senior Vice President Ravi Chopra, General Secretary, Rajendar Dichpally, General Secretary R. Jayachandran , General Secretary Narinder Singh Mundar, General Secretary Sophia Sharma, Vice President Ms. Malini Shah, Vice President Pradeep Samala, Vice-President Jose George, Vice President Harpal Singh Tanda, Vice-President Paul Karukappally and various Chapter Presidents and Committee Chairs.

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