Pravasi Bharatiya Divas In Edison, NJ: Minister Piyush Goyal joins Indian Americans to celebrate 17th PBD

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Dr. Sudha Parikh presenting a bouquet to India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal, during his visit to ITVGold studios of Parikh Worldwide Media in Edison, N.J., Jan. 8, 2023. Photo: ITV Gold

Just hours before the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, PBD, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India on Jan. 9, 2023, Indian-Americans celebrated a parallel event in Edison, New Jersey, presided over by India’s Minister for Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal, who is also in charge of Consumer Affair, Food & Public Distribution, and Textiles portfolios.

Goyal, who was in U.S. Jan. 8 to 11, visited New York, N.J., and Washington, D.C., meeting corporate leaders and heading the Indian team for the Trade Policy Forum in the nation’s capital.

Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, left, shares a moment with India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal, at the Jan. 8, 2023, celebration of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, in Edison, N.J. Photo: ITV Gold

In New Jersey, Goyal met Chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, and gave an extensive interview to ITV Gold, before meeting a large gathering of Indian Americans, including the Mayor of Edison Sam Joshi, and the Mayor of West Windsor Township Hemant Marathe, a fellow Mumbaiyya.

Indian Minister Piyush Goyal on stage greeting and acknowledging the cheering Indian-American crowd at the Jan. 8, 2023 celebration of PBD, in Edison, N.J. Photo: ITV Gold
Indian Minister Piyush Goyal at the podium addressing a large crowd of Indian Americans during the PBD celebration held in Edison, N.J. Jan. 8, 2023. Photo: ITV Gold
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India’s Consul General Randhir Jaiswal introduced Goyal to the cheering crowd, calling it a special day and praised Indian-Americans as crucial role-players in U.S.-India relations.

India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal speaking at the PBD celebration with Indian Americans, held in Edison, N.J., Jan. 8, 2023. Photo: ITV Gold

India’s growth story and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in it was the focus of Jaiswal and Goyal’s speech. India’s potential as an investment destination was a focus Goyal reiterated, as he invited Indian Americans to invest in the country and spread the word to the rest of America. “Today, India is the land of opportunity,” and investments in India have given Indian companies returns of 20 percent, higher than any other country in the word, he said. “So, I urge you to take the message that India is the place to be. India can be a trusted partner.” Indian American families and businesses could benefit by these investments too. “Can you decide to have your weddings in India?” he asked; Can you buy Indian manufactured things during Diwali or thanksgiving, he urged. Indian Americans can help “shape the contours of a strong India,” Goyal said.

The Minister showed pleasure when cultural events were presented, a raag by Chinmay Paranjape, a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston; a classical song by a student of Pandit Jasraj school of music; and a dance number by students of Shri Gurukul Performing Arts, all youth born and brought up in the U.S.

Leaders of Sikhs of America USA presented a shawl and a certificate of appreciation to India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, at a Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebration held in Edison, N.J., January 8, 2023.

Leaders of Sikhs of America USA, presented a shawl and a certificate of appreciation to Goyal symbolizing their admiration for steps taken by Prime Minister Modi, especially the Veer Baal Divas celebrating the sacrifices of the sons if Guru Gobind Singh. Other organizers also included the Federation of Indian Associations of tristate. Also present was the leadership of the Indian American Republican Coalition.

Leaders of the FIA at the Jan. 8, 2023, PBD celebration in Edison, NJ, where Indian Minister Piyush Goyal was the chief guest. Photo: organizers

Reiterating the commonality of goals in trade, economic development, democracy, a rule-based order globally, etc., Goyal spoke of the extraordinary achievements of Indian Americans, including imbuing their children with the values and traditions of India.

“Your achievements are appreciated by 1.4 billion people in India who look up to you, and we feel you all will be the torchbearers of the Indian growth story,” he said. The contribution of Indian Americans is reflected in the way Indian officials are received in this country, he said.

Indian Minister Piyush Goyal, left, Mayor of West Windsor, New Jersey Hemant Marathe, center, and Dr. Sudhir Parikh, right, at the Jan. 8, 2023, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations in Edison, N.J. Photo: ITV Gold

He noted India’s achievements during Covid and quick resurgence of its economy as proof of its resilience. It was a time when no one went hungry because the Prime Minister doubled the rations to each family, he noted. “Not a single Indian went hungry. Har ghar ka chula jala,” he said.

He also noted how more than 130 Indian Americans held top positions in the Biden administration. “You have clearly demonstrated your ability. … This country has given you a lot. And you have given back. I am delighted that this spirit of service of Indians is celebrated at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas,” Goyal added.

He later tweeted about his New Jersey meeting- “Addressed the Indian diaspora in New Jersey, US on the eve of #PravasiBhartiyaDivas2023. The dynamic Indian American community is a living bridge between the world’s two most vibrant democracies & a reliable partner for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal,” words that echo the theme of this year’s PBD.

India’s Deputy Consul General in New York Dr. Varun Jeph echoed the Minister’s words when talking to ITV Gold. Mayor Sam Joshi told the news channel, “Edison is he heartbeat of the Indian community in all of U.S…. We are here to show our bond with India is very strong.”

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