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LARGEST TOWN OF AMERICA MAKES HISTORY ON INDIA’S REPUBLIC DAY

For the first time the Largest town in America, the Town of Hempstead in New York unfurled the flag of India side by side with the American flag to recognize the great contributions of Indian community to America and to mark a new level of accomplishments in Indo – US relations. Hon. Tony Santino unfurled the flag on Jan 26, 2007 in a temperature of 22 degrees below zero. Hon. Kate Murray, Supervisor of the Town of Hempstead accompanied by the entire Town Board consisting of Hon. Anthony Santino Senior Councilman, Hon. Angie Cullin, Hon. Dorothy Goosby, Hon. Gary Hudes, Hon. James Darcy, Hon. Edward Ambrosino, Hon Mark Bonilla Town Clerk, Hon. Donald Clavin Receiver of Taxes, and accompanied by Hon. Dan Palmieri New York State Supreme Court Judge, Hon. Rick Lawrence New York State Supreme Court Judge, Hon. Judge Jerald Carter of District Criminal Courts, former Judges John Pessala and Jane Shrenkel and her husband Louis took part in the Republic Day Celebrations along with 250 prominent American leaders and Indian citizens representing Irish, Italian, Israeli, African American, Hispanic, Korean, Chinese & Indian community. The Indian Consulate was represented by Mr. Praveen Kumar as Chief Guest. It was truly representative of America to celebrate India’s Republic Day in New York.

Keynote Speaker Dr. Parveen Chopra, a veteran community Leader who has been given national awards like Dr. martin Luther King Award and Ellis Island Medal of Honor for making significant contributions to American life indicated that President Bush while signing the Henry J. Hyde India-US Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act on December 18, 2006 where he represented the Asian American Coalition USA Inc. that he founded comprising of thirteen Asian countries at the White House, indicated that Americans have come to believe that Indians are great friends who come from a democratic country and make the best use of opportunities offered by America. Dr. Chopra told the cross section of many elected leaders from many Asian and European communities that you are our very best friends who have come to celebrate India’s 57th Republic Day to mark the adoption of India’s constitution that was framed by Dr. Ambedkar who came from a scheduled caste and studied at Columbia University, New York. Education in life and democracy are two most powerful forces that help to open great opportunities in life and help to control the destiny of our own lives. Dr. Chopra spoke on many other areas of cooperation between India and America particularly American entrepreneurial investments in India by Fortune 500 Companies, terrorism, India’s Nuclear and Space programs of India that will put a man on the moon by 2015. Life in India is going to be very exciting and full of accomplishments and Indians in America have recently learnt to work strategically to get Indo-US nuclear treaty passed with the help of educated leaders.

Two extraordinary Indians were honored by Hon. Kate Murray and the entire Town Board for their singular achievements. Detective Farokh Mehta, the first Indian who joined the Nassau County Police force over twenty years ago and was also the first Indian to be promoted as a Detective and has several distinguished awards like Police Office of the Month, Excellent Police Duty Awards, Meritorious Awards and Congressional recognitions for his outstanding and distinguished Police Service to citizenry was honored with India’s Republic Day Award.

Another distinguished person who is a tenured Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of Renal Disease Division at the State University of New York at Down State Medical College was honored for his extraordinary contributions to research with over 120 published articles, reviews and chapters in text books. He was the first Indian doctor who transplanted two donor kidneys from New York to Bombay and participated in their transplantations to two dialysis patients in India for the first time. He organized Karnataka State Medical and Dental Alumni Association. He was Trustee of National AAPI and is part President and current Chairman of AAPI of Queens and Long Island, NY.

India Republic Day Committee that has organized several Republic Day and County level functions consists of Chairperson Indu Jaiswal, Past Chairperson Dr. Parveen Chopra, Dr. Azad Anand, Dr. Bhupendra Patel, Mr. Surinder Rametra and Mr. Mohinder Taneja who passed a vote of thanks to Ms. Meena Chopra of Akbar Restaurant, India Tourism Office, House of Dipali, Nina and Mala Desai.

Invocation was opened by Acharya Parshanand Ramdas of Arya Samaj of Long Island, New York and end of ceremony prayers were offered by Global Harmony House sisters Uma and Parul Patel, Sister Anjani and Brother Ram Prakash Singhal.

A comedian Mr. Dan Nainan, well know for his national reputation to make people laugh shared many satires and funny moments. National Anthems of both America and India were melodiously sung by Vishal Bhalla and several excellent dance performances choreographed by Mrs. Swati Vaishnav of Navtanrang Dance School of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan; Choreographer Guru Mayadhar Pavi and Presented by Mala Desai’s School of Odissi Dance; and a Patriotic dance choreographer by Mrs. Bharti Desai was presented by their students. The function was followed by a reception for three hundred people at the Hempstead Town Hall where a truly elegant crowd of distinguished guests representing many ancestral communities of America intermingled with elected members of the Town Board and it’s elected Leaders, several Judges, Department Heads, leaders from many communities and distinguished New Yorkers to build the bridges of understanding.

Photo Caption: Hon. Donald Clavin, Hon. Angie Cullin, Mr. Mohinder Taneja, Hon. Kate Murray, Indu Jaiswal, Hon. Anthony Santino, Dr. Parveen Chopra, Hon. Dorothy Goosby, Hon. Edward Ambrosino, Hon. Mark Bonilla

US session to open with Hindu prayer

Carson City (Nevada, USA) March 10: History will be created when Rajan Zed, Director of Public Affairs of Hindu Temple of Northern Nevada, will read Hindu prayer/blessing at the opening of the Nevada State Assembly session on March 19 and Nevada State Senate session on May 07, both in Carson City.

This will be first time any Hindu prayer will be delivered in the Nevada State Legislature since its formation in 1864, says Pastor Albert Tilstra, Chaplain Coordinator for Nevada Legislature. Zed will be seated at the podium next to the Presiding Officer.

Rajan Zed says that though he still has to choose which prayer he will deliver, but he is thinking something from Rig Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE. But he adds that keeping with the Legislature tradition, prayer will offer inspiration, reflection, and encouragement, and will be thought provoking. The prayer will then be included in the Daily Journal of the legislature, which is a permanent public record.

Hinduism, the oldest and third largest religion of the world has no datable beginning but some scholars put it around 3,000 BCE. It has no founder, no one authoritative figure, no one deity worshipped by all, and no single prophet or holy book. One of its scriptures, Mahabharata, which dates around third century BCE, is the longest poem ever written, comprising of over 100, 000 couplets.

Rajan Zed, besides being Director of Public Affairs and Interfaith Relations of Hindu Temple of Northern Nevada, is also Public Relations Officer of India Association of Northern Nevada, affiliated with World Congress of Faiths-London, listed in ?Who?s Who in America? 2006, volunteers as a chaplain in various hospitals of northwestern Nevada and nearby California, and is active in interfaith dialogue in the region. He lives in Reno with wife Shipa Zed, a community volunteer; son Navgeet Zed, a youth activist; and daughter Palkin Zed, an accomplished author of two published books.

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