NORWALK, CA – The local India-American community rode the ‘Modi wave’ with fervor as they came out in large numbers on May 23 evening to participate in a victory rally for Narendra Modi who in a landslide win, swept into the office of Prime Minister after the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections in India.
The event opened by singing of slokas and Vande Mataram by Preetysha followed by lamplighting by prominent community members and garlanding of a huge picture of Narendra Modi which drew resounding applause from the audience.
Emcee for the evening, Harish Dhruv, head of the Overseas Friends of Bharatiya Janata Party (OFBJP) Southern California Chapter, then called on various community leaders, many of whom had met Modi in the past, to share their experiences and personal anecdotes with the audience. Ramjibhai Patel , who was congratulated for putting the event together at a short notice, reminisced about his meetings with Modi both in the US and India and his close ties to Modi. He proudly displayed newspaper cuttings and photographs of himself with the present PM. Not only did he get to eat the cake but the icing too, when he met Modi’s wife Jasodaben in January 2013! All credit for Modi’s victory went to ‘Krishan Bhagwan’ he said, because of which Modi had not only political and social but spiritual power as well. Expressing similar sentiments, many in chaste Hindi, were others who spoke – Vijay Telkikar, Gopal Chaturvedi, Mahesh Mehta,Mahesh Gupta, Ram Singhania, Suru Manek. Gujarat they said had given India great leaders – Gandhi who brought freedom, Vallabhai Patel – the unifier and now Modi who has the qualities of the former two and Vivekananda and will take India to new heights of glory, ushering in the ‘Hindu Sanskriti’ from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. They described Modi as the first PM to be born post Independence. His victory is historic and will usher in true freedom not only from the British but also from ‘gharana’ rule. They harped on the fact that Modi’s victory is ‘Bharat’s victory’ and the victory of every Indian. Ram Singhania recollected Modi’s earliest visit to Los Angeles in September 1993. Modi’s planned visit in 2005 to inaugurate the Yadunandan Center for India Studies at California State University Long Beach did not materialize as the US turned down his visa request. Modi has been denied entry to the US since then. Prof. Arnold Kaminsky, Founding Director of the Yadunandan Center read out a congratulatory message from Prof SarDesai in essence exuding confidence in the new government which will bring in good days for the common man and all round development for Bharat. Uka Solanki whose generous donations helped establish the Yadunandan Center and B.U Patel over the exuberance spoke with some caution urging the new government to view India as one and take care of all Indians irrespective of religious affiliations, highlighting the hope that all Indians should be treated equal.
Anil Parekh thanked all of coming in a show of support particularly thanking the sponsors, organizers and volunteers.
A video presentation on ‘Modi’s vision for one Bharat’ gave the audience an opportunity to see Modi on the campaign trail building ‘Brand Modi.’ As Ram Singhania pointed out Modi is a hybrid politician, part CEO, part politician , part rabble rouser. His motto – ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’ came through. Then what the audience was eagerly anticipating, -Preetysha and her band, who took over regaling the audience with Bollywood hits which went on late into the night.