FIA in the Eye of a Storm

    One of the oldest and supposedly a “representative body of Indian Americans in Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut”, Federation of Indian Associations of NY,NJ,CT, popularly known as FIA, seems to be in the eye of a storm that it may not have weathered during the more than three decades of its existence.

    The organization is known principally for its annual India Day Parade in Manhattan. For years now FIA has been organizing the India Day Parade, creating an opportunity for Indian Americans to come together to celebrate India’s Independence. The organizers over the years came to gain attention and recognition in community and at Government of India outposts in the Tri-State area.

    The Indian Consulate recognized them and extended them due courtesy, even importance and the government of India establishments extended them all courtesies and cooperated with them in making the Parade a success, year after year.
    The recognition seems to have gone in to the heads of the top brass of FIA. Over the last couple of years they have become rude to the point that they forgot, not once, but a couple of times that the Consul General represents government of India; that Permanent Representative to the United Nations is the government of India. They have got so heady that this year they misbehaved with at least two journalists who were covering the India Day Parade and related events. The gentlemen known for their professional competence have not retaliated, not because they cannot but because they thought with Jesus Christ “They know not what they do”.

    A number of allegations are now flying against some of the FIA officials, particularly its Chairman (for ever?) Ramesh Patel. A few of its top brass is said to have been under investigation by government agencies in India and here for various kinds of irregularities and offences. At least, one Past President of FIA and currently a Trustee on the 13 member Trust had the CBI in India probing a case against him, with warrants issued against him when he was appointed President of FIA.

    The Indian Panorama has received a number of communications, supported with documents, from a few wide awake Indian Americans leveling allegations of impropriety on various counts which are being looked in to at our level. We invite comments from our readers on the issue. We will soon present before our readers the true story.

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