“Phir Milenge”: India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal, hosts community on eve of departure

India’s Consul General in New York, Randhir Jaiswal, giving his farewell speech November 29, 2023, at the Indian Consulate. ALL PHOTOS: ITV GOLD

Scores of Indian Americans from around the tri-state area, crowded into the massive, stately hall of the Indian Consulate in New York November 29, 2023, to say goodbye to their favorite diplomat, Consul General Randhir Jaiswal, who returns to New Delhi to take over as Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs.

The farewell hosted by CG Jaiswal reverberated with excited conversations among attendees, some expressing sadness, but most of them admiring the three-and-a-half-year tenure during which the Indian envoy faced possibly the biggest challenge diplomats faced around the world, the COVID 19 pandemic. He took over with aplomb, opened up the Consulate 7 days a week, took services to the doorsteps of people in the 10 states he was responsible for, helped hundreds of Indian students and families stuck in US, and hosted hundreds of events in his people-to-people diplomacy.

In his signature humble and open approach, Jaiswal thanked not only his colleagues but also the community. “As for the diaspora here, I have only nice things to say. You are amazing lot of people. I was here in the city 14 years back, you were doing very well then. But the story today is altogether different. As India grows in leaps and bounds, we will count on your support to take us forward in …  to make India a developed country by 2047 that we desire for.”

Dr. Sudhir Parikh, right, with Consul General Randhir Jaiswal at the farewell hosted for the community Nov. 29, 2023, at the Indian Consulate.

In a brief interview with ITV Gold, Jaiswal called the Indian American community “my family” and thanked Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold, and others, who had “give so much support.” Dr. Parikh echoed the common sentiment, when he said, “We will miss our beloved and popular Randhirji,” and praised his leadership.

Jaiswal’s rigorous work ethic was something he transferred to the team at the Consulate.

“I came here during times when it was very difficult for all of us across the world. It was even more challenging for this city. But let me tell you, since May of 2020 this Consulate has been open to people, to our stakeholders and it is a fact. It is something that we take deep pride in. I must thank as I sign off from here, I must thank all my colleagues. They come to the consulate each and every day 7 days a week since May of 2020.

India’s Deputy Consul General Dr. Varun Jeph, introducing Consul General Randhir Jaiswal, at the farewell hosted for the community Nov. 29, 2023, at the Indian Consulate.

Described by the Deputy Consul General Dr. Varun Jeph, as having an “absolutely outstanding” innings, that had a “profound impact” on the diaspora he served as well as US-India relations, Jaiswal was innovative in his approach. In the DCG’s words, he was busy “organizing consular camps, visa and passport camps across all 10 states or celebrating India at 75 in grand style; be it joining 500 Indian-Americans at 2:00 o’clock in the morning in New Jersey or launching niche Indian products fair in the Consulate; be it expanding the horizons of our commercial engagements,” and cultural, historic and literary connect between the two democracies.

Jaiswal said he tried his best to anchor his approach on economic diplomacy as the centerpiece of the broader engagement.

“If there was a conversation happening on business in any part of New York or the northeast of United States, we were there. If there was a Trade Fair happening at Javits Center or in Philadelphia, we were there. If there was anything that was happening on startup innovation, we were there,” Jaiswal said.

He went on to praise India’s rapid transformation in every segment of the society, including the bureaucracy, where a culture of problem-solving was being awakened. That was the approach he took, and which has resulted in the daily dispatch of cases brought by the public, and nothing left pending.

Dr. Abha Jaiswal, wife of Consul General of New York Randhir Jaiswal, at the November 29, 2023, farewell to the community. PHOTO :videograb ITV Gold

He was thankful to have been able to celebrate India’s 75th anniversary of independence in the Big Apple. He recounted numerous events in sports, culture, and business held in that great hall, and outside, with the unveiling of statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, and Vivekananda, as well as the Buddhism exhibition, as part of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.

The Indian Consulate’s massive hall was packed for the farewell hosted by departing Consul General Randhir Jaiswal, for the Indian American community, Nov. 29, 2023.

“The high point was the historic visit of the Prime Minister. It was a visit to Washington DC, but it was a visit which was celebrated in each and every nook and corner of the United States.”

“Simply put, the world of 21st century is going to be governed by two big trends : digital technology and what we do on sustainability. If we have to get these two trends right, India-U.S. partnership remains critical not just for ourselves or for you,  but for global good and for global prosperity,” Jaiswal said.

He expressed his love for Central Park and the city that houses people from around the world speaking numerous languages, like in India.

“That is the New York I am taking in my heart – warm, vibrant and best.

My wife joins me in thanking all of you for everything that you have done for me, for the consulate and expanding India-U.S. relations. As they say, as this traditional wall says, Phir Milenge!”

(Archana Adalja contributed to this report)



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here