अनहोनी को होनी कर दे होनी को अनहोनी.
U.S. Embassy Pulls India Official’s Visa
U.S. Embassy Revokes Visa of Top India State Official for Allegedly Violating Religious Freedom
NEW DELHI Mar 18, 2005 — The U.S. Embassy on Friday denied a visa to the Hindu nationalist chief minister of India’s western Gujarat state over his role in 2002 religious riots. India slammed the decision, saying it showed a “lack of courtesy and sensitivity.”
Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a leader of India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, was denied a diplomatic visa to travel to the United States and his existing tourist/business visa was revoked, a U.S. embassy spokesman said.
Representatives of 70 organizations meet under the leadership of Shri Sunil Nayak, President of IANA at his Ramada Inn for an emergency meeting to decide the fate of a previously well planned and publicized event of Modiji’s reception and talk at New York’s famous Madison Square Garden on March 20. I represented Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America.
It is decided unanimously to continue with the program and work out in haste a live video link with Gandhinagar for Modiji to address the audience in New York.
We all go home after 1:00 AM not to rest or sleep but to start an email campaign to let the community know that the program was “on” and to circulate a petition and letter campaign to the US President against denying a visa to a democratically elected leader of a state in Bharat.
Intense work by all volunteers across the country on 19th and 20th.
The program is scheduled on the evening of March 20, a working day. Madison Square Garden is booked. Cost? $100,000 for a four-hour slot. A technical team has been working day and night with Gandhinagar counterparts to arrange a seamless and glitch free, live, interactive video feed.
In the evening, heavy rains drench New York and surrounding areas. Working day, maddening rush hour traffic and the rains do not deter NRIs who are all up in arms against US State department’s unfair decision partly taken under pressure from the anti-Hindu, anti-Modi secular (!) brigade and fundamentalist Christian lobby that was at the receiving end when Modi government clamped down on fraudulent Christian conversions.
People come by busloads from the neighboring states of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. In no time the 4000 capacity auditorium is houseful.
A royal chair is at the center of the stage. It is not occupied. It symbolizes absence of Shri Narendra Modi. After some preliminaries, the giant screen comes alive and Modiji’s face appears on it. The crowd erupts in a frenzy with sustained applause for minutes.
Modiji is a study in equanimity. He is opposite of the crowd that is agitated and restless. He addresses the crowd with poise and dignity. Then Question-answer starts. I remember two of them vividly. (1) What is your reaction to the visa cancellation? (2) What do you see in the future?
Answer (1): I believe only in action, not in reaction.
Answer (2): I envision a day when Bharat would progress to a level where instead of us standing in line for an American visa, Americans will stand in line for a visa to Bharat.
Having known Narendrabhai from the early eighties as a Sangh Pracharak, and believing that he was guided by a divine power, I had argued then with disheartened colleagues and friends that one day, Narendrabhai would be the Prime Minister of Bharat.
Fast forward nine years to May 16, 2014
Narendrabhai leads BJP to an absolute majority in the national election, decimating the Congress.
Narendra Damodardas Modi takes oath as the Prime Minster of Bharat.
September 28, 2014 10:00 AM
Same Madison Square Garden where an audience of 4000 people looked at that empty chair reserved for Modiji on March 20, 2005, is filled to the brim with 19,000 NRIs. Hundreds of NRIs are looking at a giant live screen in the Times Square and still more than 10,000 are left without a ticket. Event? Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to address the Diaspora that had stood by him through thick and thin.
Location: US Capitol, Washington, DC
Audience: Joe Biden, Vice President, Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House; Mich McConnell, Majority Senate Leader; Nancy Pelosi, Minority House Leader and all Senators and Congressmen. It is the joint session of the U.S. Congress.
Speaker? Narendra Damodardas Modi, the Prime Minster of Bharat.
He speaks for almost one hour, in English. No written notes, no teleprompter. No Uh, Humm or any verbal clutches. No disjointed thoughts. He touches upon the history of the USA, shared values of the USA and Bharat, Influence of American constitution on B.R. Ambedkar, influence of Gandhiji on Martin Luther King, Jr., contribution of NRIs to the USA, Yoga’s popularity in the USA, climate change and carbon footprint, rural and agro-economy of Bharat, defense cooperation, terrorism from across the border, etc.
He spoke from a position of strength- He said, “cooperation and not domination”, a hint to the USA that Bharat will work with it on equal footing, not as a subservient junior partner. He ended with a quote from the famous poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892):
‘The constraints of past are behind us and foundations of future are firmly in place…The Orchestra have sufficiently tuned their instruments; the baton has given the signal. And there is a new symphony in play.’
He improvised it by adding: ‘Our relationship is primed for a momentous future. The constraints of the past are behind us.’
By my count, Modiji got 58 applauses and eight standing ovations in his one-hour speech.
Nanredrabhai, we are proud of you- from 2005 to 2016, what a journey it has been! I wish you Godspeed in making all your dreams a reality. You are not alone. I and millions are with you. Jay Hind!