Reception organized in honor of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister in Chicago
Chicago IL: Sounding more like a Raja-risi (saint-politician) rather than politician per se, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chauhan impressed the audience at an reception organized in his honor by Friends of India Society International (FISI) and Overseas Friends of BJP at the India Palace Restaurant auditorium in Schaumburg, a suburb of Chicago with his talks on his governance of Madhya Pradesh interspersed with quotes from scriptures and works from intellectual giants like Shri Sankaracharya and Swami Vivekananda. Despite a short notice, over 350 attended crowded the banquet hall. The Chief Minister was on an eight-day tour of the U.S., especially to meet with the World Bank officials and other organizations.
The function commenced by honoring the Chief Minister and his wife, Mrs. Sadhana Chauhan with presentation of floral bouquets by Usha Kumaria and Asha Chandak respectively. The attendees were welcome by Shrinarayan Chandak. He recognized Amar Upadhya, of BJP chapter President and Shridhar Damle, FISI chapter President. He then turned the program over to Vandana Jhingan as the Master of Ceremony. She recognized the sponsors of the event: Amrit Mittal, Naren Patel, Harendra Mangrola, Asha and Anil Oraskar, Chhotulal Patel and Dr. Bharat Barai. Amrit Mittal introduced the Chief Minister. He said that Shivraj Chauhan is a lifelong member of the RSS, the largest volunteer organization in the world. He said RSS is instrumental in running 175,000 Seva projects in India. The Sangha draws inspiration from our religious leaders, like Guru Gobind Singh and others who sacrificed their lives for the country.
Dr. Bharat Barai thanked the audience for joining the occasion. Vandana Jhingan thanked the Chicago media and commended their work in publicizing the important events of the community through their newspapers. Dr Bharat Barai moderated a question and answer session after the Chief Minister’s speech. A sumptuous vegetarian dinner was served.
Congressman Joe Walsh, who was the invited guest, in his speech thanked the Indian community of U.S. for their contributions in all walks of life. He said his district is the home to a large number of Indian Americans. He said that he would introduce legislation to provide vegetarian meals to the Indian students in schools in his district. His remarks were profusely appreciated as the audience reacted with enthusiastic response.
Shivraj Chauhan, highly appreciating the Indians settled in U.S.A., said he was extremely happy to be amidst them. He said, “I am all the more happy in Chicago, especially because Swami Vivekananda addressed the Parliament of Religions here. I have feeling that you are the sons of Immortality, “Amritasya Putrah” and nothing in this world you cannot achieve. “Therefore I wanted to come to Chicago. I admire you all because of your success and salute you for your love of your mother country, Bharat. Bharat and America both share many common values like democracy and liberty. We propagate our long held belief that the whole world is a single family. “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Respect for all religions is the cornerstone of our national character, “Sarva Dharma Samanvaya.” In India we are taught that righteousness prevails, that is Yato Dharmahstato Jayah. Our prayers are always directed to the humanity as a whole, not self directed. It is based on the Upanishadic idea of Sarve Bhavatu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niramaya, Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu, Ma Kashchit Dhukhbhagbhavet. May all be happy, May all be secured, and no one suffer. Tena tyaktena Bhunjita, i.e., enjoy without attachment,” he added.
He continued that Bharat is growing with the growth rate of 6 to 7% per annum. Today, growth of M.P. is 11.5%. “I believe it is the duty of the government to provide adequate facilities and create proper environment to grow richer and stronger. We have connected every village in MP by road and electricity. We have brought 220 thousand hector land under irrigation. Our aim is to have an annual 12% growth rate across M.P. We are one of the fastest growing Agricultural Community in the nation. We are also endeavoring to become among the fastest growing Industrial economy. We want to empower young and energetic entrepreneurs to set up industries under our guaranteed financial support. M.P. is an ideal destination for all kinds of industries because or 24/7 power availability, and educated and skilled manpower not to speak of the historical, cultural and geographical connectivity with the rest of the nation.
“Besides being the C.M. I am also the CEO of M.P. We have called for global investments so that the economic development must reach all the people, especially the poor,” he said. “We have made it a State policy to create environment for Women Empowerment. We have set up programs for help towards their education, including uniform, books and transportation. Even help is available for their marriages In local and state governments 50% seats are reserved for women. In terms of political participation we encourage them to contest in elections. Elders are not ignored. We have provisions for midday meal for them,” he alluded. “Yet another aspect of our national life is pilgrimage to holy places. We have identified 17 holy places, like Nankana Saheb, Mathura, Kashi, Hardwar, Badrinath, etc. M.P. is also the first state to declare “Citizens Charter”. According to that all permits, licenses or help must be received by the citizens within three days from the date of initiating such requests. Failures will be punishable in terms of deductions from the salaries of officer concerned directly. MP has become one of the first states to introduce computerization of public services making it more effective.” The Chief Minister also informed the audience that the United Nations Organization has recognized M.P. as a Seva State for using technology in governmental services. Besides, special courts are appointed for a speedy administration of justice and transparency in governance, he remarked with pride.
“I am the servant of 7.5 crore people of Madhya Pradesh, which I consider my temple and I am the priest. It is my dream that Bharat should be among the best countries in the world. I also hope and urge you that you will also work very hard to make U.S.A. continuing to be the best country in the world. He said that he had decided that a special “NRI Cell” is created to help the NRIs in every which way possible. “I promise you will not feel lack of help in M.P.‘ Awake, arise and move forward. Stop not till you reach your goal’. These words of Swami Vivekananda have become our aim and inspiration to march forward and make Madhya Pradesh, more prosperous, healthy and happy,” the jovial Chief Minister concluded as the audience gave a standing and thumping ovation. Shivraj Singh Chauhan has been five-time Member of the Parliament since 1991. He was a gold medalist in M.A. He was jailed during 1976-77 Emergency protests.
During this visit he also paid a special visit to the memorial of Swami Vivekananda at Art Institute of Chicago.
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