The Indian American Press Club (IAPC) held the inauguration of its new Executive Committee on March 4 here in the presence of community leaders and officials. Mr H.R. Shah, Chairman and CEO of TV Asia conferred Padma Shri this year, was warmly felicitated at the gala event at Antun’s by Minar.
Professor Indrajit S Saluja, editor-publisher of The Indian Panorama, was sworn in as the new President, taking over from Parveen Chopra, Managing Editor of The South Asian Times and The Asian Era. Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos administered the oath of office to the new IAPC office-bearers including George Eapen (General Secretary) and Biju Chacko (Treasurer).
Ginsmon Zacharia, founder Chairman of IPAC who has interests in print and TV, stepped down after shepherding the organization for three years. The new Chairman Dr. Babu Stephen publishes two community newspapers from the Washington DC area: Express India and India This Week, and is the CEO of DC Healthcare Inc, and president of SM Reality LLC.
H.R. Shah, in his speech, dwelt on his initial struggles in media but said he did not give up. Under him, TV Asia is today the largest TV network for the Indian community in America. He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian government for conferring on him one of the highest civilian awards of India. He also thanked Prof. Saluja for IAPC felicitating him.
Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media, in his felicitation, praised Mr. Shah as a man of vision and action who made it to the top with grit and determination.
Comptroller Maragos underscored the role of media in a democracy and lauded Indian American media for doing a great job to promote interests of the community and serving the great American nation in the best fashion. He also revealed his intention to run for Nassau County Executive.
In his keynote address, Jehangir Khattak, Co-Director, Center for Community and Ethnic Media, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, spoke about how he has been fighting for more government dollars for the ethnic media, including desi media.
Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, Deputy Consul General, New York, rushed from an engagement in Boston to preside over the event.
A book, ‘Musings on Medicine, Myth, and History – India’s Legacy’, by Dr. VK Raju and Dr. Leela Raju was launched on the occasion.
The roaster of entertainment included a skit by New Jersey street theater group, Prayas. Kalpita Chakote presented a classical dance, and Bhangra Soormay, St. John’s College students, gave an energetic performance.
IAPC, with six active chapters in the US and Canada, has organized three successful annual international media conferences in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut over the past three years. A highlight of the conference last year was a presidential debate with representatives from Democratic and Republican sides.