EDISON, NJ (TIP): Indian – American community in US laid a red carpet for L.K. Advani stated OFBJP Convener Vijay Jolly in New Delhi. A grand reception was organized in honor of Lal Krishna Advani in Edison, New Jersey at TV Asia auditorium. This was organized by Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) USA.
Advani visited US after nine years, leading an Indian delegation to the United Nations. He is accompanied by his wife Smt. Kamla & daughter Pratibha. Advani was accorded a red carpet welcome at TV Asia and was received by the OFBJP National Executive Committee led by President, Shri Jayesh Patel, President Elect, Shri Chandrakant Patel, and Sr. Advisory Council Member Shri. Ram Rakshpal Sood. Smt. Kalpana Shukla, Smt. Neeraj Bhagat and Smt. Janak Anand offered flower bouquets to Shri. Advani and Smt. Kamla Advani.
Over 800 people assembled including a large number of community leaders representing several Indian and ethnic community organizations. The venue vented with vociferous slogans of “Bharat Maata ki Jai” and “Advani ji ka Swagat hai”. Advani was applied tilak and blessed amidst Vedic chants by priest Pundit Pravin Chandra Sastry. Mrs. Advani and Pratibha were honored by Smt. Shefali Patel and Smt. Beena Sabhapathy respectively. Shri Ram Rakshpal Sood was the master of ceremonies. The program started with traditional lamp lighting ceremony and paying tributes to Bharat Mata and BJP founders including condolences to the just departed BJP senior leader and Ex. Convener OFBJP, Late Kidar Nath Sahni. This was followed by the rendition of Vandemataram by Smt. Subhadra Nain
While addressing the Indian -American community, Shri. Advani stated that 9/11 stands as a significant date with terrorism. However, another 9/11 in year 1893 is significant for India, because Swami Vivekananda addressed the world religious congregation in Chicago. Vivekananda made India famous among the comity of nations at that time. He addressed the gathering in Chicago as “Brother’s & Sisters”. It gave an instant depth of India’s traditions to the West. Advani said, that Swami ji had expressed the desire to have “man making machine” from which he could create people with character, nationalism, and patriotism. The founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Dr. K. B. Hegdgevar similarly conceived RSS, a wonderful organization to fulfill the wishes of Swami Vivekanand. Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS) which was the precursor of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) was thus founded to bring character, nationalism, and patriotism among the people of India.
Shri. L.K. Advani reminded the audience that because of the ultimate sacrifice of BJS Founder President, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherji, Jammu and Kashmir (J & K) is still part of India today. Otherwise, India would have lost J & K forever. He also said, that it was an agitation led for the unity of India, and there was another agitation led to safe-guard democracy in India between year 1975 & 1977
Advani reminisced about his interaction with late Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan. She used to say that India has autonomous election commission and apolitical armed services, because of which parliamentary democracy flourished in India as opposed to Pakistan. Advani said that he considers his best days were in Bangalore prison during the period of emergency. And he wrote a book titled ‘Friends of BJP’. He stated that BJP, on coming to power would grant “Voting Rights” to Overseas Citizens of India to a standing ovation by the assembled audience.
Earlier, Shri. Ram Rakshpal Sood enthralled the audience with patriotic songs and inspirational discourse. Dr. Adapa Prasad, Immediate Past President, paid rich tributes to late Kedar Nath Sahni and reminisced about his personal association with him. He said that such kind of disciplined and patriotic persons are not born often times. He read the condolence message sent by the Central OFBJP Convener, Shri Vijay Jolly from Delhi. Shri Vijay Jolly in his message, paid glowing tributes to Kedar Nath ji on behalf of BJP.
Later, R. P. Singh, OFBJP – USA Org. Secretary, read a congratulatory message and well wishes sent by Shri Vijay Jolly for the success of Shri. Advaniji’s program. President, Jayesh Patel sought support of the Indian American community for BJP in the next parliamentary elections because he added that India is going through a critical phase with wide spread corruption, high prices, and low GDP.
President Elect, Chandrakant Patel in his introductory speech, stated that Advani ji is a leader of the masses. He is a politician who lives and breaths for his country. He also reminded that Advani ji proposed Shri. Atal ji ‘s name for the Prime Minister. This shows the height and team spirit of Advani Ji. Vote of thanks was given by Ram Kamath, General Secretary.
The program concluded with vociferous slogans. This program was presided over by H.R. Shah, Chairman & CEO of TV Asia and attended by Piyush Patel, well known philanthropist and entrepreneur; Suresh Jani, OFBJP Past President; eminent community leaders such as Padmashri. Dr. Sudhir Parikh; Dr. Navin Mehta; Rajiv Bhambri; Chandrakant Trivedi (Former President of FIA); Council-man, Dr. Sudhanshu Prasad & Gulshan Chabra. Former MP from Gujarat, Smt. Bhavanaben Chikalia, and Andhra Pradesh State BJP Vice President, Smt. Vijay Lakshmi. A four minute video presentation of Advani ji was screened for the audience before Advani’s speech. This program was telecast live and about 1 million Indian Americans watched across the nation. The program is also on Youtube. Light refreshments were sponsored by N.J., OFBJP Co-coordinator Arvind Patel (Rajbhog Sweets). Photography was done by Chandrakant Trivedi.