By Harbachan Singh, Secretary-General, INOC, USA
The scene was one of celebration and jubilation where over 100 officers, members and supporters of INOC, USA converged at its annual meet in New York on Dec 9, 2017, over the pronouncements and road map chartered out by Sam Pitroda, Chairman of the Indian Overseas Department of All India Congress Committee on Dec.2, 2017 in New York.
Pitroda also gave official recognition to INOC, USA and established an umbrella Board which would consist of Sam Pitroda as Chairman and George Abraham as Vice Chairman and Dr. Surinder Singh Malhotra as a member. Mohinder Singh Gilzian was endorsed to continue as the President of INOC, USA until the next Lok Sabha elections in about 15 months’ time after which, elections will take place for the single Indian Overseas Congress entity that will be established and recognized as such. Also celebrated was the nomination of Harbachan Singh, Secretary-General of INOC, USA as Chair of a 3-member group to revise and update the By-laws of the single entity of the Indian Overseas Congress in USA.
These appointments were welcomed by the audience with a standing ovation and with an arousing and a thunderous applause and expressions of great satisfaction. Mr. George Abraham thanked everyone for their dedication to the values and principles of the Congress Party and their perseverance to safeguard them often through difficult times. He also called on everyone to work together and hoped transparency, accountability, and fairness would prevail in working with the other group. He also cheered the imminent appointment of Shri Rahul Gandhi as President of AICC.
It may be recalled that the Congress party in the USA has hitherto been served by two splinter organizations one of which was headed by Mr. George Abraham (INOC, USA) and the other by Shudh Parkash Singh INOC (I). Mohinder Singh Gilzian appealed everyone to work together and make the organization a strong one. He said the record of the Congress party was glorious and holds good hope for the future.
Harbachan Singh, Secretary General of INOC, USA drew attention to its great inherent strength and expressed confidence in the future of the Congress party despite the recent trials and tribulations. He said the track record was an open book for everyone to see and the experience and professionalism that it is equipped with has no parallel in modern history.
Dr. Surinder Singh Malhotra who had also joined the meeting praised the excellent work of all the senior leaders of this Congress group and encouraged them to follow the goals and policy of the Congress party which were very democratic and secular in nature.
The guest speaker, Dr. George Mathew, Chairman of the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi emphasized the excellent value of the Congress party’s secular system in modern society which had become the new horizon for the international brotherhood to develop modern international networks in trade and peaceful co-existence.
Joy Thomas, a former District Congress Committee President and former head of Consumer Federation of Kerala felicitated the audience for the great strength that they showed and the tremendous work that they continue to do for the love of the country. He lauded the outstanding accomplishments of UPA I and UPA II under the stewardship of Soniaji.
The news of Shri Rahul Gandhi Ji becoming the President of A.I.C.C was also received with joy and acclamation. Speaker after speaker expressed happiness and confidence in his leadership to lead the party on the road to victory.
The long-awaited cake cutting time to celebrate the Birthday of Madam Sonia Gandhi finally arrived and topped all ceremonies of the day. George Abraham in a toast to Soniaji highlighted her passion for pluralism and empathy for the disadvantaged. Quoting her own words which said the following: “ though born in a foreign land, I chose India as my country, I am Indian and shall remain so until my last breath. India is my motherland, dearer to me than my own life”, Abraham thanked the important role she had played in establishing INOC as a vibrant organization here in U.S. Several speakers recounted her excellent contribution to the development of the party and the establishment of the rule of law. Toasts were proposed, and sincere wishes for her continued good health and prosperity were expressed by every present.
Tejinder Singh Gill, Malini Shah, Satish Sharma, Sawaran Singh, Jasvir Singh Nawanshr, Jose Jacob, Jaya Sundaram, Devendra Vora, Gautam Sanghavi, Kulbir Singh, Koshy Oommen and Leela Maret also spoke.