MANY expatriate Indians with strong national feelings felt impelled to contribute and work towards projecting a positive and correct image of India and its people in the US. They formed the OFBJP (Overseas Friends of BJP) to work towards strengthening social bonds and to create ‘Think Tank’ of intelligent individuals of Indian origin to foster a cordial relationship between the overseas Indian community and American people.
Conference of delegates
Shri Vijay Jolly (Co-Convenor, Overseas Friends of BJP) and Shri V Shanmuganathan Addl. Secretary of BJP Parliament Party participated in the OFBJP National Council meeting held in Chicago from July 22 – 24, 2011. Over 60 delegates across the nation attended the three days National Council meeting while over 200 Indian Americans attended the public function.
Dr Adapa V Prasad, serving professor of Washington Medical College is the President of OFBJP, USA. He presided over the conference and delivered a presidential address. Shri Amar Upadhyaya, an IT professional is the General Secretary of OFBJP, USA. He made the welcome address.
Office bearers and delegates from all over the United States participated in the proceedings. OF-BJP, USA is a vibrant and growing organisation across the USA. The organisation has five zones covering all 50 states. OFBJP, USA has 16 chapters in New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The Indian representatives conveyed the best wishes of Shri Nitin Gadkari, All India President of BJP. Dr Mahesh Mehta played an important role as the elderly guide and national co-ordinator. People were showing interest about the dramatic changes occurring across the political, economical, and social landscape of India. They were appreciating the important role being played by BJP to influence these changes in positive manner to make India strong, secure, and prosperous.
The delegates from India, explained to them about the challenges and opportunities before BJP. They explained how the BJP President Shri Gadkari gives importance for the self performance audit and workers training camps. This suggestion was seriously considered. They have chalked out a programme to conduct the training camps in all the five zones across the nation within a period of six months. Shri Vijay Jolly, appreciated and stressed the need to reach out to the larger Pravasi Bhartiya community and wanted the OFBJP membership and support base to be expanded in the coming months.
Contents of discussion
An overview of OFBJP’s activities was presented by Shri Chandrakant Patel. He is the organising secretary of OFBJP, USA.
Shri Rajendra Prasad Singh is the Vice President of OFBJP, USA. He presented the concept of Vasudaiva-kutumbakam and the greatness of Vedic civilisation. He narrated the unique cultural values of Bharat and how it can benefit the day-to-day life of every individual.
Role of information technology and media in contemporary politics was also discussed.
Indian American perspective about the modern age and how natural partnerships are to be evolved at a global level was also discussed.
The life anecdotes of Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya and Dr Shyam Prasad Mookherjee were narrated in an inspiring manner. How to work with renewed vigour, how to get connected with people, involving more and more youths, how to build up the organisation with mutual trust and confidence was the general theme of the collective discussion.
The evening public meeting started with much fanfare at 7 pm and went on till 10 pm. It was very well attended by the admirers of BJP from the greater Chicago metropolitan area. Over 200 people attended this colourful function. Earlier, this function was started with ceremonial Deep Prajwalan, Shanti Mantra and rendition of American and Indian national anthems respectively. Dr Mahesh Mehta set the tone for the meeting by delivering a brief speech about the activities of BJP.
I gave a speech about the positive achievements of various the BJP ruled states in India. I spoke about India’s strong commitment to Democracy, Justice, Liberty of thought and expression, belief in equality of status and of opportunity. I explained how the Indian diaspora has made significant contribution towards development of many societies worldwide, while they have neatly merged with the host communities they have also retained links with their roots.
Challenges before the American government and the people
I interacted with young IT professionals in New Jersey, scientists in Washington DC and students in New York. They described about the general social and economic conditions of the Americans.
Issues facing America
Americans are unhappy about their country’s prospects and politician’s handling of the situation. Many of them express their opinion as “America is on the wrong track.” The US Dollar is falling drastically. Incessant inflation caused by excessive issuing of currency notes.
American culture is driven by luxury. At the age of sixteen, the American boy or girl wants to have a car and an apartment to live. Parents are finding it difficult to keep the boys or girls with them beyond their 16 or 18 years of age. It is very expensive and costlier. One hour tuition of English or maths or violin costs them 25 dollars. When parents work for more money and dollars they spend less time with children and so less affection.
Many parents don’t sit with their children informally. So the children are not under the control of parents. They are more under the control of hormones. At the age of 16, there are unwed mothers. There is pop culture. How to prevent pregnancy is a lesson in the school. During school outings, excursions pregnancy takes place. Abortion is not allowed in Catholic churches.
Girls and boys are choosing their partners. Girls still prefer a non smoker and not a druggist as husband. Lust and infatuation dominates the mood of boys and girls. Very few people try to understand what is real love and real life. Love marriages become successful if the partners compliment each other without contradicting on each and every issue.
Ambition in the life makes them more hard working. It gives them stress and strain also. They have to compete with other talented people to get the final opportunity.
On the plus side, I was impressed by an advertisement board in the New York. When I was just moving around, the busiest Times Square in New York City, there was a big board of advertisement. It said “O! Americans? From today start thinking of “We” instead of “Me”. That is the only way to get United”.
Scientists and IT professionals expressed some optimistic opinions about American economy. Time and again, when Americans have felt particularly gloomy about their economy, they always made some special efforts. They bounce back. They increase their industrial production, make new innovations through their R&D methods, make their growth rates high and finally conquer inflation and stagnation. Their military might is supreme in the World. America is too big to fall.
When I went to Washington I visited Abraham Lincoln Memorial. I was quite impressed by a carving on stone near his statue. It is written “This American Nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”