ANAHEIM, Calif. — Over 4,000 people packed the Anaheim Convention Center here July 3-5 to attend the 17th biennial convention of the Bruhan Maharashtra Mandal, which was inaugurated by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Fadnavis, who was on a visit to the U.S., told his audience — greeting them in Marathi — he was pleased with the theme of the convention, “Maitra Peedhyanche,” as there were many generations of Maharashtrians living in the U.S. now, and it provided an occasion to celebrate the “sanskriti” of all generations.
The chief minister said he wished to connect the different American Marathi generations with the different Marathi generations back home in Maharashtra. During his speech, which was heartily applauded by the attendees, Fadnavis spoke about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative, and stressed that it will succeed only if “we embark on ‘Make in Maharashtra’.”
Urging the Indian Americans in the audience to invest in Maharashtra, the chief minister spoke of how “India is young” and that it can provide human resources to the entire world, adding that the average age of India’s population is only 25. There will be a “red carpet” for investors, he emphasized, not “red tape.”
Inviting the audience members to come and visit Maharashtra, Fadnavis said the state has many unexplored tourist spots, from beaches to jungles, and offered a 25 percent discount to anyone booking through the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation.
On the occasion, the chief minister also unveiled the convention’s Smaranika, or souvenir book, as well as a tri-monthly magazine by the Maharashtra Government — Maharashtra Unlimited.
The three-day convention actually began July 2, termed a pre-convention day, that included many seminars such as a Business seminar for accomplished Marathi businessmen wishing to network. Among the main speakers were Harsha Bhogale, a well known cricket commentator, and his wife Anita Bhogale. Also featured was a business plan competition.
Among other features of the convention were Continuing Medical Education provided for physicians, and a panel, “La Cinema,” which offered an opportunity for discussions on the movie industry. Several Marathi film personalities took part in the discussions, along with those from Hollywood, such as the team from “Outsourced.”