Sunday, 29 June
The concerted efforts made by Indian community
in general and Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan
Sanstha (BAPS) in particular, to preserve Indian culture
overseas were lauded by Maharashtra Chief Minister Mr. Shushil
Kumar Shinde. The chief minister of the western Indian coastal
state was addressing the Sunday meeting at Swaminarayan
Mandir in Flushing, Queens, today.
will have to take note of India. It was said about 20-25
years back we will be able to compete with advanced countries,"
Mr. Shinde said referring to the rapid strides made at home
and by overseas Indians in various fields. "Thanks
to the wealth of talent we have at home and abroad, India
has emerged a world leader in Information technology,"
He was referring to his recent visit to the Silicon Valley
to attract investors to India.
how much a community progresses, if it forgets its civilization
and culture, it gets nowhere," he said. Fortunately,
Indian community abroad has been making dedicated efforts
to hold on to its values amidst pressures from the multicultural
American society, he added. "Listening to "Bhajans"
(devotional songs) sang by the kids in Mandir, I can say,
you've done an excellent job," he said referring to
singing of hymns in Hindi and Gujarati by Bal Mandal (children's
circle) members. "Bhakti (devotion) keeps the light
of civilization burning bright and clear," he added.
Mr. Shinde and his wife Mrs. Ujjwala Shinde offered puja
at the Mandir.
Dr. Surinder Malhotra,
president of Indian Oversees Congress, praised the Indian
community for promoting harmony in America. Communal amity
is crucial to the survival of pluralistic societies such
as America and India, he added. Dr. Malhotra is also a supporter
of community health care services provided free of cost
by the BAPS.
Dr. Ramji Shethi, vice president of Indian Overseas Congress,
was among the guests who graced the function.