‘Democracy and Secularism are bedrocks for a stable India and it will always prevail’ said Hon. P.J. Kurien, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha in a meeting organized by Indian National Overseas Congress, USA at Worlds Fair Marina in New York. Prof. Kurien was in New York attending the World conference of speakers of Parliament organized at the United Nations. ‘Federalism, Democracy and Secularism are complementary to each other and one cannot exist without the other. If one is destroyed, India as we know it will cease to exist. We find strength in diversity and if anyone feels that we can do better without recognizing that fundamental reality, it is like swimming in an unknown ocean. I do not want to blame anybody for the current stalemate in the Parliament. At this time both sides took strong stands on issues, but I am certain things will be sorted out in the near future. I am hopeful that GST bill will be passed soon. It was the Congress Party which brought the bill first to the Parliament and now that the Government has withdrawn the amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, I am expecting more productive sessions in the future’, he continued.
‘India has always been a beacon for spiritual and philosophical thought and it is the duty of every Indian to preserve and protect that great legacy. When India gained Independence, we had a population of 300 million and we have quadrupled it since then and made enormous progress. Congress party has given a very strong Institutional foundation for India and made it easier for anyone else to build upon it. When Dr. Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, India was in the 10th place economically and today we are at the 3rd place and undoubtedly the policies enunciated by the Congress Party have apparently a lot to do with it’.
‘India has about 30 percent of the population still living under the poverty line and that number is more than the entire population of the United States. Therefore, we still have a long way to go. Yet, 90% of the population has mobile phones today and Mangalyaan is still circling the Mars even to the amazement of NASA.
Prof. P.J. Kurien was felicitated by various leaders of the INOC for his unanimous election as the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha. George Abraham, Chairman reminded the audience how Dr. Manmohan Singh wished him well saying he would conduct the proceedings with ‘aplomb’. ‘He is known for his no-nonsense approach and uprightness in conducting the legislative affairs of the nation’ he added.
Mr. Juned Qazi, President implored the Dy. Chairman for a more vibrant dialogue between the Party and the Diaspora. He also paid a special tribute to George Abraham for his decade long selfless service under the banner of INOC.
Mr. Thomas T. Oommen, the Chairman of Kerala Chapter (OICC) paid tribute to Prof. Kurien for his dedicated service to the people of India along with his commitment to democratic principles and minority protection.
Hon. Sangat Singh Gilzian, Member of the Legislative Assembly in Punjab brought some of the critical issues party facing in Punjab and requested Deputy Chairman’s help in highlighting those with the leadership of the party. His brother and the Vice-President of INOC Mr. Mohinder Singh Gilzian spoke at length and said Congress party cannot afford to lose for a 3rd time in Punjab.
Mr. Jose George (Treasurer), Mr. Sawaran Singh (Haryana Chapter President), Mr. T.J. Gill (Punjab Chapter President), Mr. Zinda Singh (Delhi Chapter President), Mr. John Joseph (Tamil Chapter President), Mrs. Sonai Sodh (President – MP Chapter), Mr. R. Jayachandran (President- Kerala Chapter), Mr. John Joseph (Tamil Nadu Chapter), Mr. Prasad Kambhampaty (Andhra Pradesh and EC member), Malini Shah, G. Gajendran, Leela Maret (Kerala Chapter- Women’s Forum), Harkesh Thakur (EC member), Ram Gadula, Thomas Koshy (President- Indian American Chamber of Commerce), Jose Thekkedom (Treasurer- Kerala Chapter), Dr. Jose Kanatt (Coordinator for Kerala Chapter NY Unit), Varghese Thekkekara (VP of Keral Chapter), K G Janardhanan, R. Prasannan (President – SNA), Anil Patel, Charly Abraham (India) also felicitated Prof. P.J. Kurien.
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