NEW YORK – The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) organized a tribute to late Dr. Cheddi B. Jagan on Sunday, March 18, at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village, New York.
The tribute was part of IDC’s ‘Celebrating the diversity, strength, achievements and contributions of the Indian Diaspora marking the 100th Anniversary of Abolition of Indian Indentureship’ program moderated by Jhairam Persaud and Veronica Hossain, and was preceded by the forum on “Women’s Advocacy & Empowerment – Social, Economic & Political.”
Dr. Jagan was born on March 22, 1918, in Port Mourant, Guyana where he was a politician who was first elected as Chief Minister in 1953 and later as the Premier of British Guiana from 1961 to 1964, prior to independence.
He played a key role in Guyana’s struggle for independence from Great Britain for which he was widely regarded as the “Father of the Nation” and served as the nation’s president from 1992 to 1997.
Dr. Jagan attended Northwestern University and Howard University and wrote two books: “Forbidden Freedom: The Story…” in 1954 and “The West on Trial” in 1966.
He married Janet Jagan on August 5, 1943 and they had two children Cheddi Jagan Jr. who lives in the U.S. and Nadira Jagan Brancier who lives in Canada.
Dr. Jagan died on March 6, 1997 in Washington D.C. He would have turned 100 on March 22, 2018.
“This is a fitting, deserving, historic and timely recognition of the late Dr. Cheddi B. Jagan, who was highly acclaimed for his stalwart, lifelong service, legacy and influence on people worldwide. The late Dr. Jagan was an internationally acclaimed stalwart, a champion of the people who fought for Guyana’s independence, and embraced diversity and strength through unity. His lifelong service to the people of Guyana, his ideals and vision engendered consensus for understanding, cooperation and progress among all people,” IDC said in a statement.
Several prominent U.S. elected officials and their representatives presented proclamations, citations and letters of recognition to Dr. Jagan’s granddaughter Vrinda Jagan Esq., in honor of his 100th birthday.
These include: New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo; New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio; U.S. Congress Rep. Grace Meng; Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; New York State Sen. Roxanne Persaud; New York State Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman; New York State Sen. Leroy Comrie; New York State Assembly Member David Weprin; New York City Council Member Barry Grodenchik; and New York City Council Member Daneek Miller.