FIA-Chicago Hosts a Colorful Republic Day Gala

Media Release by -Keerthi Kumar Ravoori
Chicago, Jan 27: The Federation of Indian Associations-Chicago (FIA) hosted a festive gala banquet in celebration of the India Republic Day that was exemplified by the spirit of patriotism of the Indian Americans filled to the packed capacity at the India House Banquets in Schaumburg, Illinois to unitedly celebrate the 60th year of the India’s sovereign democratic republic. 
Buoyed by the huge attendance, the fervor of the evening’s Republic Day celebrations was further enhanced with the patriotic orations, dazzling dance presentations, melodious musical selections with the entire event enveloped in gala festive spirit.
Congresswoman Hon. Melissa Bean of 8th congressional district in Illinois set the tone for the evening by commending India’s republic and India’s abiding commitment to a democratic way of life. She congratulated FIA leaders for hosting a commendable event to mark this significant date in Indian democratic history. Congresswoman Melissa Bean was earlier introduced by Keerthi Kumar Ravoori as an outstanding friend of the Indian American community and for supporting the congressional legislations that seek to help the causes that are important to the Indian Americans.

Iftekhar Shareef, Event Chairman and FIA Trustee chair, in his remarks, welcomed the guests and thanked them for their overwhelming attendance which he added represents the abundant patriotic spirit of the Indian Americans.
Iftekhar Shareef commended the adopted country - the United States of America for granting each of its citizens and their residents such a great democratic privilege to unrestrictedly celebrate Indian Republic day – which he added is truly heart warming. Mr. Iftekhar Shareef was profuse in his homage to India’s freedom fighters for their sacrifice which led to attainment of freedom and subsequently the republic of the nation.
Iftekhar Shareef paid rich tributes to India’s majority Hindu electorate for their magnanimous spirit of electing first the minority Muslim President Sri. Abdul Kalam followed by a minority Sikh Prime Minister Sri. Manmohan Singh and a Catholic Christian Srimati Sonia Gandhi who are currently at the helm of India’s democratic leadership hierarchy. Mr. Shareef emphatically attributed the warm spirited Hindu electorate for their liberal, secular democratic spirit. Remembering the earthquake victims in Haiti, Iftekhar Shareef stressed that Indian community will draw a plan to host an event to raise funds for rehabilitation of the victims devastated by this terrific earthquake. 
Satish ‘Sunny’ Ghabawala, Event Convener and interim President, in his remarks, extolled the enduring democratic way of life in India and eloquently recalled the golden moments in history when India attained freedom from colonial rule nearly over 6 decades ago and that which culminated into a sovereign democratic republic of India with constitution to guide its destiny. 
Satish Ghabawala generously thanked the guests, board members and the trustees for their valuable partnership in making the event “so tremendously successful”.  As an interim President, Satish Ghabawala, outlined the plans for a colorful India Independence Day parade in August 2010 and announced a series of plans and initiatives to host a memorable India Independence Day celebrations in the summer of 2010.    He reminded the critics that any efforts to create disunity in the Indian community will only strengthen the collective resolve to stay tenaciously united and therefore, urged all FIA members to strive for unity.  Satish Ghabawala thanked the FIA board members Subhash Bhatt, Mrs. Anupama Dharkar, Sher Mohammed Rajput, Dr. Indrajit Patel, Sunil Shah, Omkar Sangha, Ajai Agnihotri and Shahid Rizvi for their important contribution.
Several of the FIA Trustees including Kanti Patel, Prahlad Patil, Anil Pillai, NIranjan Shah, Iftekhar Shareef, Sohan Joshi, Sitaram Patel, Dr. Dilip Dharkar, and Hetal Patel were invited on the stage to be applaued for their steadfast support and leadership. Also, recognized were the principal sponsorers and business leaders including Jude Cresto, General Manager of Air-India, Varghese Chacko, President of All American Bank and Rohit Maniar, Vice President of National Republic Bank and the representative of new bank United Central Bank. Among the other prominent who attended also include Austin Prabhu, a leading Lions Club International leader in the Midwest.
Mr. Niranjan Shah, in his remarks, praised FIA leaders for their hard work and dedication while emphasizing on the importance of unity. Niranjan Shah also commended Sunil Shah for his spirited contest in the recent FIA elections and reminded that in a democratic framework the majority always prevails.
Keerthi Kumar Ravoori, in his opening remarks, recounted India’s triumphant journey soon after the ‘tryst with destiny’ of 1947 which, he said, began modestly with agrarian focus that was slowly interwoven with socialistic pattern of society in India and as the years evolved, the enlightened visionaries espoused new wave of economic reforms. Those economic reforms matched by sheer determination, resolve, hard work and ingenuity which eventually propelled India to global eminence. We, therefore, commend the dynamic custodians of the Indian democracy for their visionary leadership that helped India to get on the world stage, added Keerthi Ravoori.
Dr. Ram Gajella, President of the Indo American Democratic Organization, while introducing Raja Krishnamoorthi, Democratic front-runner for the Illinois Comptroller, made an impassioned plea to elect the first Indian American to the important statewide office in his remarks thanked FIA and emphasized that FIA is akin to his own family. Dr. Ram Gajella said the empirical data he collected shows that there is a sizeable growing Indian American voting population that can truly make a crucial difference between winning and loosing an election. Dr. Ram assured Raja Krishnamoorthi that the Indian community overwhelmingly stands behind his candidacy as he faces a tough primary battle next week.
Raja Krishnamoorthi thanked FIA for the support and raised the energy level of the evening by challenging every Indian American to mobilize support for his race in order for him to be elected to the office of the Illinois Comptroller. Raja Krishnamoorthi reiterated that he received enthusiastic endorsement of leading newspapers Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Peoria Journal in southern south of Illinois.  Raja Krishnamoorthi said he urged Indian Americans to contribute generously for him to be able to get his message out on the Television. He urged every Indian American to call up their family and friends to cast their important vote in the primary elections slated for February 2nd, 2010.
As a mark of tradition, on this Republic day occasion, Ramesh Soporawala, a prolific journalist from the Indian community was honored for his distinguished journalism – which was presented by Mr. Michael Alvarez, Democratic candidate for the Water Reclamation District – who was earlier introduced to the audience by Hetal Patel, FIA Trustee.
The highlights of the evening was Rahul Singh with his impromptu dancing and singing medleys that was augmented by his troupe belting out colorful dance presentations and melodious singing. 


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