Tamil association and AIA host reception for visiting Indian dignitary

Uma Swaminathan, Vijaya Thayanban, Upendra Chivukula and Calai Chandrasekaran pose for a photo at an event jointly hosted by America Tamil Sangam and Association of Indians in America June 25, 2022, at A2B Restaurant in South Plainfield, N.J., to felicitate visiting dignitary Vijaya Thayanban. Photo: ATS and AIA

America Tamil Sangam and Association of Indians in America (AIA) New Jersey chapter jointly hosted a reception for Tamil Nadu Government official Vijaya Thayanban, member-secretary of Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram, who is on an official visit to the U.S., at A2B Restaurant, Hadley Road in South Plainfield, NJ on Saturday, June 25, 2022. The event also celebrated the birth anniversary of the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi.

Thayanban is a senior leader of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party in Tamil Nadu and also coordinator of party’s women’s wing. She was recently appointed to the post of Member Secretary to foster music, art and culture in the state by Chief Minister M. K. Stalin.

Upendra Chivukula, former deputy speaker of New Jersey State Assembly and currently Commissioner on the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, who presided over the event, praised the role of  Thayanban in serving as a link between overseas Tamils and the Tamil Nadu government in promoting Tamil culture, music, literature and art, a press release said.

Chivukula also conferred the title “Tamil Ma Mani” on the visiting dignitary, on behalf of both the associations for her lifelong contribution to the promotion of Tamil music, dance, culture, literature and art forms.

In her acceptance speech, Thayanban said the DMK Government led by Chief Minister M. K. Stalin is pro active and investor-friendly. She appealed to Tamil entrepreneurs in the U.S. to invest in Tamil Nadu and reap the benefits offered by the state government, the press release quoted her saying.

She said she will support U.S.-born and raised Tamil children proficient in Bharathanatyam and music in Tamil Nadu. She said she was happy to celebrate the 99th birth anniversary of late Chief Minister Karunanidhi with nonresident Tamils.

“Mr. Stalin considers overseas Tamils as an asset to the state and would consider any suggestions for better living or resolve any grievances, if any, of Non Resident Tamils,” she said.

Ram Tirumala, NJ chapter president of Association of Indians in America (AIA) recollected the active role played by Thayanban in improving the condition of women in Tamil Nadu. Dr Frankie Hutton, author of several Black history books and a professor, spoke on the occasion.

Calai Chandrasekaran, president of America Tamil Sangam, in her welcome address said this was her first meeting held under her leadership after assuming charge as president of the ATS. She congratulated Thayanban for her role in promoting traditional art forms.

Uma Swaminathan, national vice president of AIA said her organization was proud to co-host the event for a person who worked for women’s emancipation in Tamil Nadu.

Balamurugan, managing director of A2B Restaurant, a branch of Adyar Ananda Bhavan in the U.S., John Joseph, president of Tamil Nadu chapter of Overseas Indian Congress, Gajendran Ganesan, former secretary of America Tamil Sangam and Dr Kalyani Duraiswamy, a pharmaceutical scientist were among those who attended the event.



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