Chitralekha Gujarati issue dated 29th September 2014
Watch “Editor’s Audio Note” on YouTube -
Modi’s Maiden Visit to America As PM
Come and think of it, he was once treated as a pariah by the US government, denied as he was the Visa to visit the US. Today, the American government along with the lakhs of Indians is gearing up to welcome the Prime Minister of India when he visits during the last week of September. In this cover story in the latest issue of Chitralekha, Ketan Mistry takes stock of the preparations that are underway in America to welcome Modi. Most of all, the Indian Diaspora is considerably excited over the forthcoming visit, as the talks among the Indians range from what Modi will wear on the occasion to which language will he choose to speak in, when he will address the mammoth gathering at Madison Square Garden (MSG) in America on September 28 this year.
Apart from Modi’s scheduled meeting with Obama and his address to the United Nations, the Historic Felicitation-Reception organized at Madison Square is going to be another most important event in Modi’s itinerary. Interestingly, while the American government and the Indian Diaspora are busy preparing for a red carpet welcome for Modi, the latter is busy with being host to the Chinese President, who is currently on a tour to India.
Understandably, the Indians who have settled in America are upbeat about Modi’s forthcoming visit and each of them is vying to be part of the historic event. The current buzz is what message will Modi convey to them on the American soil?
They have formed a special body for hosting this special event: Indian American Community Foundation (IACF) which is headed by Chandrakant Patel (Chairman) and Dr. Bharat Barai (President). They are guided by the Indian Embassy, Jnaneshwar Mule, Consul General, New York Consulate, Piyush Goel and Ram Madhav.
The author gives us a ringside view of the Madison Square, its history and its arena. There are also a media room, special rooms, suits and so on. Those availing of suits facilities are to sit here in front of a gigantic screen and watch proceedings, even while gorging on the delicacies of their choice, without being distracted by thousands of spectators occupying the venue.
The choice of the venue was apparently influenced by the PMO, which felt that the event should not look like just another BJP function. It has to transcend the boundaries of a political program and be rated as a game-changing mega-event. Also, care needs to be taken to ensure that it is not confined to one organization and this is the reason a new organization was constituted especially for this purpose. Besides, a website has come up for this event, which purveys all relevant information. Besides making appeal for donations, the site also addresses the queries of individual organizations seeking free passes for their members.
One such organization head reveals that there are close to 400 Indian-run organizations in America. It is understood that nearly 75 percent of their requirements for tickets will be entertained. Once organizations send names of participants decided through lottery, each attendee will get a personalized ticket with his name embossed on it. As per the MSG rules, around 350 seats are reserved for the physically challenged.
Special buses will be run to facilitate smooth logistic support. The event is scheduled to start at 9.30 am on the 28 Sept, though the PM will arrive at 11 Am. Till then, there will be cultural programmes lined up for the entertainment of spectators. Modi’s speech will take more than one hour and the event, which will be anchored by Nina Davaluri, the first Indian origin to become Ms America will conclude by 2 pm.
Given that the MSG has a capacity of nearly 20,000, security concerns will obviously be accorded a top priority. Being an old friend of PM Narendra Modi, Dr. Barai reminisces about his past association with him. Incidentally, it was Dr. Barai who had organized the live video conferencing of Modi as well as the Google Hangout that was immensely successful.
With an accompanying piece on the MSG, the cover story is a must-read before you take your seat in front of a TV set on 28 September when the most admired prime minister of India addresses the Indian Americans and the world will listen in rapt attention.
Cleansing the Places of Worship
Of late, one notices a novel agitation in kot area in Ahmedabad: to put a ban on illegal construction around the modern and old Jain and Hindu places of worship there and discourage non-vegetarians congregating in the area. The movement has been spearheaded by none other than a female monk, Maitriratnashreeji Mahasatiji.
The growing rise in illegal construction in and around the area, shrinking habitable space and worsening water crisis etc., have led to exodus of people to better places. Instead, meat-eating people are getting drawn to this area. This unhealthy trend has come to defile the sanctity of the Jain temples some of which are very old and possess priceless idols, says Mahesh Shah
Concerned, Maitriratnashreeji Mahasatiji has initiated a movement to spread awareness in the community and initiate purification of these temples that need immediate cleansing and maintenance.
Peng Liyuan: The Chinese First Lady
Though the current Chinese leader Xi Jinping who has just concluded his visit to India is a political heavyweight in the world of politics, the social world is definitely ruled by his wife Peng Liyuan, a renowned Chinese contemporary folk singer and performing artist. The Forbes magazine that publishes the millionaires list has ranked her 57th in the list of most powerful women in the world.
Samir Paleja profiles the Chinese folk singer, who is as much known for her musical skills as her sartorial sense, though at home the hubby and the wife have decided to treat each other as they are, sans their public personas.
The issue also carries an interesting story on the Gondal-based Chetan Jethva, who must be the only dance teacher to make a living out of teaching raas garbas. In this story by Jitendra Radadiya, we are told of this unique dance master whose dancing tips have enriched stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Dayabhabhi alias Disha Vakani
Besides the above, the issue carries Humour column, Palak, Cardiogram, Priyadarshini, new chapter of novelette, Travel Section, Health Helpline, Jalsaghar and Mukhwas
Man is full of poison-nectar. The anarchy of strength is poison and the restraint of strength is nectar..!!