By Shivaji Sengupta
New York: The Association of Indians in America held its inaugural National Executive Committee’s oath ceremony meeting on February 6, 2022. Because of Covid, the meeting was held virtually, through Zoom. The Indian Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal was the chief guest. He congratulated AIA for its rich history in America, the past presidents, and the in-coming one.
Gobind P. Munjal was sworn in as president for 2022-23, along with vice presidents and members at large. Congressman Thomas Suozzi who is running for governor of New York, swore-in Gobind Munjal.
Congressman Suozzi in his address praised AIA for its “stellar role” in celebrating Deepavali. AIA, the Congressman said, has become an important community platform. Like some other immigrants in the US, he said, the Indians in America have deep family values, and a sense of service encompassing both India and the United States. “Indeed, Indian immigrants are rewriting American history with literary hundreds of them in significant government and corporate positions,” he said.
Munjal in his inaugural speech thanked all his predecessors of “this oldest Indian organization in the States… they have done a yeoman’s job and made some significant achievements over a period of fifty-five years improving the lives of Indian immigrants community and helping them assimilate in the mainstream American life.” He said that the National Executive Committee has responded to India afflicted with Covid, sending to its people concentrators. Resonating AIA’s motto – Indian Heritage/American Commitment – the incoming president said that while simultaneously helping India “we have an equal commitment to the U.S.,..our adopted homeland.” The president emphasized the need to be relevant to all Indian Americans.
In her farewell speech the outgoing president, Dr.Urmilesh Arya congratulated the new president, mentioning accomplishments of the organization during her tenure, and reassured him of AIA’s robust financial health.
Santosh Pande, vice president from Illinois, introduced State Senator, Kevin Thomas who also lauded India’s vital role in the two communities. Senator Thomas’ Indianness was in rich display with his comfortable familiarity with many members, with its culture, history, and politics.