Indian Diaspora loses a luminary: Dr. Jagat Motwani

By Dr. Thomas Abraham Chairman, GOPIO International 


It is very sad news for all of us in the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) to know that Dr. Jagat Motwani is no more. A Fulbright scholar, professor and social worker, Dr. Jagat Motwani worked for the State of New York and made outstanding contributions in the field of Social Work.  


Other than his professional contributions, he stood out for his contribution to the Indian Diaspora community for the last four decades. 


Dr. Jagat Motwani was a tall leader of the Indian Diaspora community and was a Founding Member of the GOPIO. He was a Co-Convener of the First Global Convention of People of Indian Origin held in 1989 in New York City where GOPIO was formed. He served as an official of several community organizations including Heart and Hand for the Handicapped (HHH), Federation of Indian Associations (FIA), National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), and the last in GOPIO as its Secretary General. Dr. Motwani was one of the initiators of the First India Day Parade in New York City in 1981 and served as its Marshal. He wrote several books on the Indian Diaspora and Indian history. 


He was a patriotic Indian. I have had the opportunity to work with him closely since 1978 when he represented HHH in FIA New York. From that time, he was with me in every group I had initiated, including NFIA and GOPIO. When we thought of the First Global Convention of People of Indian Origin in 1989 under the aegis of NFIA, we were in unchartered territory since there was no communication between our communities around the world. So we decided to travel to all countries with large Indian Diaspora populations. Dr. Motwani was a great help in traveling alone to the Far Eastern countries to seek participation and support from the Indian Diaspora in those countries. 


We travelled together to many parts of the world and all over India promoting the First Global Indian Convention. At the convention, Dr. Motwani and his co-editors brought out the first-ever book on Global Indian Diaspora – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. After the GOPIO was formed at the convention, Dr. Motwani contributed as Secretary General and later as the Chairman of the GOPIO Academic Council for over two decades. 


GOPIO International and its chapters convey our heartfelt condolences to the Motwani family. We will miss him in our midst. May his soul rest in peace. 

Image courtesy of Provided

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