NY Consulate Celebrates India’s 75th Republic Day

The 75th Republic Day of India was celebrated in Consulate General of India, New York with a flag hoisting ceremony on Thursday, January 26th 2024.

Consul General Mr. Binaya Srikanta Pradhan unfurled the national flag. Over 150 members of Indian American community and friends of India joined as the national anthem were sung. Consul General then read out the Address of the President of India which she had delivered on the eve of India’s Republic Day. A short cultural program of patriotic songs was presented by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

A large number of members of Indian diaspora and friends of India participated in the
celebration filling the hall with patriotic fervor. New Jersey State Senator, Mr. Raj Mukherji graced the occasion with his presence and spoke about the strong US-India partnership.

Artists from Bharatiya Vidya bhavan presented Patriotic songs. The event was webcast live through the Consulate’s social media platforms.

NY Consulate Celebrates India’s 75th Republic DayIn the evening, Consul General hosted a reception which was attended by prominent members of the diaspora, elected officials, members of the diplomatic corps, friends from media and people from different walks of life. Among the esteemed guests were Congressman Michael Lawler, Mayor of Edison Township Mr. Sam Joshi, and senior diplomats and officers from NYC Mayor’s office and NY State Governor’s office.

A video messages conveying congratulations on the 75th Republic Day were played from notable figures, including New York State Governor Ms. Kathy Hochul, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, etc.

The program included a video showcasing the Consulate’s activities across the ten states in the northeast U.S. The event also saw vibrant cultural performances from young but very talented artist, Ms. Maheshwari Jagabattula and a captivating performance from Grammy award winner, Ms. Falu Shah. Guests were then treated to a delightful Indian dinner, featuring a diverse array of regional cuisines from various parts of India. The celebration embodied the spirit of unity, diversity, and shared heritage, marking a memorable Republic Day for all in attendance.

Binaya Srikanta Pradhan, New Consul General in NY Accorded Warm Welcome

The members of the Indian American community welcomed the newly-appointed Consul General of India in New York, Binaya Srikanta Pradhan during a recent meet and greet and reception event organized at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan USA. Speaking to the audience, Pradhan remarked that Indians and those in diaspora around the world find inspiration in the achievements and legacy of the Indian American community.

Consul General Pradhan urged the community to share their feedback on the workings of the consulate as well as the government of India, stating that it will enable him to improve their performance during his time in office.

“I would like to listen from you about what you expect the consulate to do, what you think the consulate has been doing right, what we have been doing wrong and your vision of your own consulate,” adding that the community ‘s support will help the consulate serve them better.

Binaya Srikanta Pradhan New Consul General in NY Accorded Warm Welcome 2Pradhan who previously served as the High Commissioner of India in Tanzania, also lauded the contribution and the success of the Indian American diaspora in the United States. He highlighted that the Indian diaspora in Tanzania and around the world aspires to create the same impact that the Indian Americans have managed to create in the United States and back home in India.

Sharing an anecdote of how influential Indian Americans are Pradhan recalled that during the setting up of an IIT in Zanzibar, Tanzania, the locals gave examples of successful Indian Americans who graduated from IITs and are now leading Fortune 500 companies in the United States. “And they said that we want to recreate the same story. What it has done in the United States what Indian Americans have done in the United States, we want to have a similar experience out here in Africa in Tanzania, ” he recalled them as saying.

The Consul General also celebrated the 75th Republic Day of India with the community at the achool. During his reception at Bhavan’s Romanti Auditorium he interacted with Bhavan directors including Navin Mehta, chairman of Bhavan USA and Dr H R Shah (Padma Shri), chairman emeritus of Bhavan USA & TV Asia.

Binaya Srikanta Pradhan is a career diplomat of the 2002 batch of the Indian Foreign Service. He speaks English,Binaya Srikanta Pradhan New Consul General in NY Accorded Warm Welcome 3 Russian, Hindi, and Odiya languages. His diplomatic career includes senior roles in Indian Embassies in Moscow, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan from 2004 to 2012. During 2012-14, he managed India’s relations with Afghanistan and Iran at the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi.

From 2014 to 2019, Mr. Pradhan served as the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India. His international engagements extended to being the Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of India, Moscow, from June 2019 to July 2021.

Prior to his current role as Consul General of India, New York, he held the position of High Commissioner of India to Tanzania and Permanent Representative to the East African Community (EAC) from August 2021 to January 2024. During this period India- Tanzania relationship was elevated to ‘Strategic Partnership’ and the first  overseas campus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras in Zanzibar, Tanzania was set up.

Mr. Pradhan demonstrates a keen interest in economic and energy diplomacy. Beyond his diplomatic pursuits, he finds enjoyment in playing golf. Mr. Pradhan is married to Ms. Monalisa and they are proud parents of two daughters, Dibyanshi and Diya.

“Consul General @binaysrikant76 met the leaders of Indian American community from different walks of lives at an event hosted by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan USA, which is a leading organization promoting Indian culture including Hindi, Sanskrit & classical dances among others since 1981,” the New York Consulate posted on X.

The Kerala Center In New York To Establish Dr. Thomas Abraham Library

“The Kerala Center Board of Directors and the General Body in their meetings have agreed to establish a library under the name Dr. Thomas Abraham Library, which will carry an India Collection of Books and Indian Diaspora Books,” said a statement issued by the Kerala Center. “The library will serve as a reference library for India related books and Indian Diaspora books.”

Dr. Thomas Abraham is the Chairman, Board of Trustees, The Kerala Center and

Serves as the Chairman, GOPIO International. Dr. Thomas Abraham has been honored with the Bharatvanshi Gaurav Award of Anthar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for his services to the NRI/PIO communities for the past 50 years since he moved to New York as a graduate student at Columbia University. He has been an architect behind the establishment of several organizations including the Federation of Indian Assocaitons (FIA); National Federation of Indian Associations (NFIA); GOPIO International; and The Kerala Center.

Featured & Cover The Kerala Center In New York To Establish Dr Thomas Abraham Library 3“I have been collecting books on India related to religion, culture, economy, politics, relations with other countries and tourism, which will be housed at the Kerala Center,” Dr. Abraham sated. “In addition, I have personal collection of books on India and Indian Diaspora related books, some of them are not even available at any other place, which will be donated to this library. The Government of India through the Indian Consulate New York has provided several hundreds of India related books.”

The library will be inaugurated on Saturday, April 6th starting at 5 p.m. at the Kerala Center with cocktails, a ribbon cutting ceremony and felicitations followed entertainment and dinner. I request you to keep that date available. An invitation will be sent to you later.

Describing the origins to establishing this library, Dr. Abraham said, “One of my friends floated this idea to me to set up a library since I have served our community for the last 50 years starting many community institutions.:

Dr. Abrham has successfully campaigned on many community issues. He has helped several community members to advance and helped many organizations to flourish. Because of the connections he has with the community for the past fifty years, Dr. Abraham has also accumulated hundreds of Indian Diaspora books.

Dr. Abraham says, “I also felt that my time is also coming up to downsize my activities. And the library is the best place to keep all those books and other community literature and documents so that future generations would know about our community mobilization and what we have done in the last fifty years to benefit our community and India.”

The Library will also be a place for the community to keep historic documents of the major Indian communityThe Kerala Center In New York To Establish Dr Thomas Abraham Library 2 groups and history of Indian Diaspora in different countries. Ultimately, the Kerala Center plans to make it a top Indian Diaspora Resource Center, may be even as a research center with grants from Foundations and government agencies in the future.

The Kerala Center plans to raise $25,000 to modernize the upper conference room as a library room with shelves and a long wooden reading table and chairs in the middle, which can also be used as a conference room. The hall will be used as a hybrid conference room too to host hybrid in person and virtual meetings and seminars.

Dr. Abraham said, “I am approaching my community colleagues and friends to support this project. We have already received a total contribution of $20,000 from friends. We need to raise only $5,000 now and we need your support.   Please contribute whatever amount you can and it is tax deductible. You could send a check to The Kerala Center, 1824 Fairfax St., Elmont, NY 11003 or contribute online using your credit card at the PayPal Link for the Kerala Cetner at http://tinyurl.com/2j3jbsm6. Please do mention that your contribution is for the library project.

The Kerala Center urges people of Indian origin to donate their books to this new library. “If you are downsizing and have India related books to donate, please let me know. We will pick it up.”

GOPIO International Announces Convention to be Held in April

Executives of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) and representatives of community and professional organizations, held a kick-off planning meeting to launch GOPIO 2024 Global Convention of People of Indian Origin which is scheduled to be held in April 26-28 in Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords, NJ. The planning meeting was held Jan. 28, 2024, at the same venue.

The April convention will focus on “India’s Present and the Future” and what role the diaspora Indians can play in helping to realize this desirable future. The theme of the convention is ‘Opportunities for Diaspora Indians in India’s Big Manifest Future.’ GOPIO Executive Council has appointed New Jersey businessman Prakash Shah as the Convention Convener.

GOPIO International Announces Convention to be Held in April 2At the planning meeting, Shah said, “Lauding the positive optimistic vision prevailing in India, presents opportunity to invest in India which provides the best and biggest opportunity in the World. The Bombay Stock Exchange has just crossed $4 Trillion and has overtaken Hong Kong to become third largest in the world. While India needs the 35 million Diaspora to invest, it is an incredible opportunity for the Diaspora to prosper.”

Apart from Prakash Shah, 50-member convention committee includes Dr. Asha Samant as Co-Convener, Chitranjan Belwariar as Secretary and Srinivas Akarapu as Treasurer. Committee Chairs include the following: Awards – Lal Motwani, Finance/Fundraising – Siddarth Jain, Reception – Hemant Patel, Souvenir Brochure – Jigar Shah with Dinesh Mittal and Lal Motwani as advisor, Volunteers – Bharat Rana, Publicity/PR – Rohit Vyas with Vijay Shah as Media Representative/Adviser, Registration – Dhananjay Desai, Banquet – Dr Rajeev Mehta, Additional Trips and Events – Shatrughan Dawani. Conference Sessions are chaired by Vasu Pawar for Youth, Dr. Thomas Abraham for Diaspora Indians in Technologies and AI, Dr. Asha Samant for Medical and Health and Prakash Shah for Networking Business through GOPIO Chamber of Commerce.

GOPIO President Lal Motwani, who had earlier served as the Convener of GOPIO convention in New York in 2016, said, “We are doing this major event in the USA after 8 years, this time in New Jersey. This is a big opportunity for our vibrant community in the Tr- State Area and in the USA to participate and help with this very Important event for the 35 million strong Indian Diaspora.”

GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham spoke about the history of GOPIO and its accomplishments since the formation of GOPIO in 1989, implementation of the resolutions passed by the First GOPIO Convention which included issues of Dual Nationality and Voting Rights for NRIs, demands already met by New Delhi.

GOPIO Vice President Ram Gadhavi who served as the Co-Convener of the First Global Convention in 1989, urged younger GOPIO members to not only become actively engaged, but to consider leading the organization into the future.

The GOPIO Convention will also be a fun event, with some side trips (including optional trips to New York City, Atlantic City and Washington DC).

Five conference sessions are planned at the convention, Diaspora Youth and Young Achievers and the role they can play in India’s Future and how GOPIO can facilitate their participation; Diaspora Women and their Growing Contributions in Various Sectors; Technologies and AI and other Innovations: Diaspora Indians Leading Research and Innovations; GOPIO Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Worldwide Networking of the Diaspora Businesses; and Medical and Health Issues and how Diaspora Indians can Participate in India’s Frontline Role in Pharmaceuticals, Vaccines and Medical Tourism and in Propagating YOGA and its Benefits.

The nearest airport is Newark, New Jersey, so GOPIO is making arrangements for pick-up.  Those arriving at John F. Kennedy Airport or LaGuardia Airport, could take a shuttle to Newark Airport to be picked up.

As part of the convention program, GOPIO is arranging a trip to the Capitol Hill in Washington DC on Monday April 29th to lobby Congressional Representatives on House Resolution 6542 “To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, to increase the per-country numerical limitation for family sponsored immigrants, and for other purposes.”

GOPIO advised overseas delegates attending the convention to register first before invitation letter for visa is sent out. Those who want to apply for a US visa may write to Prakash Shah at [email protected] or contact him at +1 908-267-5021 or contact Lal Motwani at + 516-581-3332.


A Tribute to the Late Prod. Ved Prakash Nanda By Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International Prof. Nanda was a good friend. He was a patriotic Indian. I have had an opportunity to work with him closely since 1981 when I took up a job at the University of Denver where Prof. Nanda was already working at the law school. Since then, we worked together on many community campaigns. We jointly did a couple Indian-American fundraising campaigns for candidates running for elections in Colorado in the 1980s.        Other than his professional contribution as a professor of law and a leading legal expert, he stood out for his contribution to the Indian Diaspora community for the last five decades.   Other than what others spoke earlier, Prof. Nanda’s had made major contribution to the mainstream Indian community organizations. At our First Global Convention of People of Indian Origin in 1989 in New York City, Prof. Nanda was entrusted to come up with a structure for a global Indian Diaspora organization. He helped to draft the constitution and bylaws of the Global Organization of People Indian Origin (GOPIO). He had attended many of our early steering committee meetings and conventions in the USA, Europe and India.   He was also a frequent speaker at the conventions organized by the National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA) held in different US cities.   After our First GOPIO Convention in 1989 in New York, he had chaired GOPIO Human Rights Council and successfully campaigned on the human rights violation of Indo-Sri Lankans and Indo-Fijians at the UN Human Rights Commission in 1991 and 1992 in Geneva.   He made substantial contribution to build Indian American community’s infrastructure through national organizations for the last five decades. His passing away is a great loss for our community.   GOPIO International and its chapters convey our heartfelt condolences to Nanda family and particularly Anjali and her family. We will miss him in our midst. May his soul rest in peace. Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful thoughts prevail at this time. In fact, we are now celebrating his life for his contribution to Indian Diaspora, India and society at large.