FIA Chicago hosts a packed Republic Day Gala

Skokie IL: Inspired by the spirit of patriotism and intensified by a show of heartwarming unity, the Federation of Indian Associations-Chicago (FIA) a premier registered community’s umbrella organization of 30 years, hosted their flagship Republic Day gala banquet that was packed to the capacity of the Grand Ballroom at the Holiday Inn in 5300 West Touhy Avenue, Skokie, Illinois on Friday, January 28, 2011.

Buoyed by large attendance, enthusiasm and energy, the FIA’s 62nd Republic Day celebrations were distinctly enhanced by a series of colorful patriotic dance presentations made by young Radha Krishan RK-Group and melodious musical selections of Rohit Parikh singing to patriotic themes which were interspersed with inspiring remarks from prominent guest speakers which augmented the festive spirit of the Republic day.

Iftekhar Shareef, FIA’s Trustee Chairman in his key note remarks paid rich tributes to India’s majority Hindu population for their magnanimous secular ethos which, he added, enabled them to elect members of the minority communities to India’s highest offices including the office of the Prime Minister, the President and ruling-party coalition chair.

Iftekhar Shareef complimented the members of the media including Asian Media USA, Five Star Tribune, India Tribune, India Post, Hi India, Desi Talk, TV Asia, India TV, Punjabi TV/Times, Urdu Times, Chicago Telugu Times, and other non-Indian community newspapers.

Iftekhar Shareef wished very warm greetings of the 62nd republic day of India celebration and reminded that because of constitution written 62 years before by Dr. B. R Ambedkar a man from a low caste and poor family background, that we all today enjoy the democracy in the country.

Shareef said that India with over 1.2 billion population with predominantly 80% Hindus, 17% Muslims, less than 2% Christians and less than 1% Sikhs enjoy the equal rights. The result we have seen in last election that a minority man from Sikh community rose to the power second time as the Prime Minister of India Dr. Man Mohan Singh, a lady from Christian back ground rose to the level of being the head of the UPA and leading Congress party of over 150 years of existence.

Iftekhar Shareef talked briefly about the last elections of FIA also offered solution to new FIA for unity. He added “how difficult it is to mobilize the support from community who knows the facts”.

Kanti Patel expressed gratefulness to all the FIA Trustees and key Board members for their unstinting cooperation. In recognition of their significant role, Kanti Patel called every prominent FIA leaders on the stage.

Honored Guest Vishwas Sapkal, Consul at the office of the Consul General of India was the honored guest of the evening who congratulated the leaders of FIA for hosting an event celebrating the India Republic and commended the show of patriotism to their motherland. Vishwas Sapkal outlined how India’s economic prowess is emerging to reach the crest of global eminence. Following his remarks, Kanti Patel presented a flower bouquet to Vishwas Sapkal.

Alderman Bernard Stone of the 50th ward, in his remarks, congratulated the leaders of FIA for hosting India’s republic day event and saluted the democratic spirit of India and its abiding commitment to a democratic way of life. After a generous introduction by Iftekhar Shareef, Alderman Stone was warmly greeted by several other FIA Trustees including Babu Marsha Patel, Sohan Joshi, and Anil Pillai who spoke briefly thanking for his support to the Indian community in the 50th ward.

Robyn Dessaure, Assistant Director of US Homeland Security in Chicago was the honored guest who freely met and greeting the members of the Indian community. Several prominent business and community leaders were acknowledged for their presence and sponsorship-support including Nasrullah Khan of United Central Bank (old Mutual Bank), Moti Agarwal of Millennium Bank and Austin D’Souza who received a prestigious award from President of India Pratibha Patil recently.

Earlier, Mina Purohit Anchor of India TV and regional filmmaker speaking at the event eloquently praised the leaders of FIA for hosting an event that pays tribute to India’s democracy, oneness and pluralism. Mina Purohit emphasized the need for unity with which the community can effectively advance.

Keerthi Kumar Ravoori Co-Convener of the banquet welcomed the guests and paid rich tributes to India’s sovereign democratic republic with constitution to guide its destiny. Keerthi Kumar Ravoori paid tributes to the vanguard of peaceful freedom fighters that led to the foundation of India’s republic. The event drew curtains with a high-energy Punjabi dance by RK group of young girls that served as a grand finale.

Photographs and Press release by: Asian Media USA

Suresh Bodiwala
Asian Media USA
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