AAPI INFIGHTING TO THE FORE
AAPI is a representative organization of American physicians of Indian Origin. The 30 year old organization has a membership of more than 52,000.
AAPI claims proximity with the centers of political power in USA. Senators and Congressman are said to be at the beck and call of AAPI leadership. So far so good.
But AAPI is not without its blemishes. There have been instances when scuffles broke out at meetings, particularly at election meetings, There have been accusations of gangsterism by some elected officials. There also have been allegations of misuse of AAPI funds against some officials of the organization. There were instances when some approached the courts with their complaints. Educated professionals have often been found to conduct themselves in an undignified manner unbecoming of their profession.
Forget the number of AAPI members who have been sentenced to various prison terms and penalties for unethical and fraudulent practices. One can find them in hordes in public records.
The latest in the series was a scuffle at a meeting to hold BOT election on March 22, 2013. We believe the following letter from Chair, AAPI Board of Trustee, Durgesh Mankikar to AAPI President Narendra Kumar throws ample light on the infighting in AAPI, an organization supposedly of gentlemen, and of course, ladies. When will our crème de la crème give a better account of themselves? Indian Americans will like to know
“Dear Narendra, “I write in response to your March 25 email to your “BOT Friends.” “I have helped you in the initial stages of your Presidency in acquiring BOT loans, even beyond the 5%, since there was no money in AAPI, and to stabilize your fledgling Presidency.
Again, I helped you during the Audit, when you were concerned about ” a Forensic Audit ” and losing Vijaya, who was exonerated previously twice by our AAPI committees, and some BOTs were still demanding a Forensic Audit, and I came to your rescue once more. Also, unlike previous Chairs, I even gave a personal donation both to the magazine as well as to the “Shreya Ghoshal” fundraiser. Even last year, I called Shobha Gupta to withdraw her suit against AAPI.
I have given seed money this year for Shanker Mahadevan fundraiser and asked every BOT member to join the regional groups of this fundraiser. “But you came into Conference Rm 226, on March 22, at the Rennaissance Hotel at a duly pre arranged AAPI BOT Election, with a group of people to disrupt the meeting, and physically snatched ballots and tore off the ballots—a reprehensible act bordering on criminality.
Only the Chair of BOT can decide when and where the BOT Election can be held, and all the voting members of the BOT were duly informed, including both the candidates and the non-voting members were invited to observe the process. “I became emotional during the Governing Body, because you were running a tirade against me all morning, despite the fact that I had helped you all along to survive and thrive as AAPI President. And you too, had returned the $ 175,000 to the BOT, and we had a wonderful EC/BOT relationship until then.
I feel you are overly stressed out by the upcoming Convention and now your behavior has become bizarre. “This BOT meeting was announced over a month ago, and was informed to everyone, to start at 7 pm. The BOT Members did not feel they could make it until 9 pm, so it was postponed to 9 pm. Dr Suresh Gupta wanted to “dance” at the entertainment program, so it was delayed until he and Dr Naresh Parikh were available.
Since we needed someone neutral to observe the process of voting, Dr Rajam Ramamurthy, ( ex-Chair, BOT ), Dr Jayesh Kanuga ( ex-BOT ), Dr Vijay Koli ( Past President ) and Dr VK Raju ( Chair, Blindness Prevention Committee), were invited by me, in the capacity of BOT Chair, when you, Dr Vinod Shah and Dr Singhvi came in, snatched the ballots and disrupted the meeting and tore off the ballots, which were numbered and signed by Dr Ramamurthy. Dr Suresh C Gupta, Dr Vinod Shah and Dr Ajeet Singhvi hurled loud innuendos and curse words, a behavior uncalled for from Physicians who are also Officers and ex-Officers of AAPI. “You and I may have disagreement about whether the ex-Presidents should or should not be allowed on the BOT, and I have asked you many times to send the issue to the General Body and get it approved, as until then, it is not a Bylaw, and we, as BOT, can only deal with that which is passed by the General Body.
Again, after Dr Singhvi brought the suit against me as BOT Chair, I wanted the Arbitrator to decide the status of the ex-Presidents. As I mentioned at the Gov Body and later to you too, that I have learnt a lot from both Dr Sanku Rao and Dr VK Shah and even wanted to bring other Presidents including you, in future, to strengthen the BOT, but membership of the ex-Presidents has not yet been authorized by the ByLaws committee or the General Body.
As I mentioned to you, the ex- Presidents “issue” should either be decided by the General Body or the Arbitrator, an opportunity that we have lost once again. “Your behavior of Friday evening was uncalled for, and reprehensible, especially since a) you are the President of the organization, and b) you also sit on the BOT as an ex-officio Member without a Vote, but were invited by me both by e-mail as well as in person in that capacity. Even at the Gov Body, I did not bring out this event, to maintain your dignity as the President of the organization and to maintain decorum, and I feel your this email from yesterday is uncalled for.
Regardless of what the Gov Body passes, since it is filled with Presidential appointees, and may be because of that, your EC decisions or the Gov Body decisions, according to our Bylaws, are not binding on the BOT. Our Election was completed with a proper quorum that evening in the presence of ex-BOT Chair, Dr Ramamurthy and at our Spring Gov Body, as per our Bylaws, and I recommend that you accept our decision and do not send out any ballots by Tru ballots or by anyone else. I do not want to be party to breaking our own Bylaws.