From the Chopras, it was the Punjabi American Night at Eisenhower Park in Long Island. This annual event is organized by an indefatigable Mohinder Taneja, a former Director with Nassau County.
The objective of this Night is to showcase the rich Punjabi culture. However, another activity overshadows the cultural presentation. It is the presentation of appreciation awards to those who contribute to the organization of the Night and to promotion of the avowed objective of the celebration. More often than not, there is no criterion for deciding on the merit of the person being appreciated or honored. It is a common knowledge that those who make some kind of a donation can get a citation or another award. It is a common practice, sadly enough, to buy and cell “honor” and
Many children and young boys and girls participated in the various events that went to enrich the cultural content. But, it makes me unhappy to find that in stead of showcasing them, Mr. Taneja decided to showcase the adults and the “honorees” along with the organizers, which is evident from the photograph he sent, with an elaborate caption to The Indian Panorama, for publication. I wish we honored the spirit rather than the form. In any case, children should not be ignored. They should rather be given precedence and encouraged. They are the preservers of tradition and cultural values.
The Indian Panorama will be more than willing to give space to honor our children and the youth.
Hope, Mr. Taneja and the likes of him get the message right.