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'US Indians should create a lobby'

Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | March 21, 2005 13:03 IST
Last Updated: March 21, 2005 14:52 IST


Mike Patel, founder member of Asian American Hotel Owners Association in the United States, told rediff.com on Monday that he was misquoted on the issue of denial of visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Patel said he never said that AAHOA had cancelled the invitation.

Modi cools ire against US

In a telephonic conversation, Mike Patel said, "Indian Americans are torn on the issue because I believe since we live in the US we have to live with the decisions of the American government. Whether you like it or not, this is the American stand. Take or leave it. We must understand that we can't do much about it except launching protests."

'Decision taken at the highest levels'

He added, "At same time I believe that it's not a right assessment of the State Department. It has been taken under pressure from certain religious organisations."

When asked to be specific, Patel said, "The decision is influenced by Christian organisations and I think when they came under pressure, officials took the decision hastily."

It's an issue of swabhimaan: Modi

Patel also said that sooner or later the ban would have to go because "it is very trivial."

"But it can do real damage. The US is usually not like this. This is out of its context," reasoned Patel.

'Visa denial a courageous stand'

When asked about the options before the Indian American community, Patel said, "Indian Americans should create a strong lobby. When Christian organisations were lobbying, we were not very much aware of it. We should change the wrong perception. We must highlight that Modi is an elected leader. And until the charge is proven against him one can't formulate a final opinion about it."


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Number of User Comments: 19




Sub: US Indians must create a lobby

Dear Mr. Mukesh (Mike) Patel, you are the head of the AAHOA, which any well informed Indian will tell you comprises Gujarati businessmen who have ...


Posted by Nelson Lewis





Sub: proud of the US state dept.

This is wonderful. I dont' have anything against Gujaratis--a lot of my friends are Gujarati, and they're all very nice people. But all said and ...


Posted by sunjay





Sub: India has better things to bother about than Modi.

Why does media make such a hue and cry over a person who matters only to the state of Gujarat .We have larger issues which ...


Posted by sri





Sub: NRI money

The major money for BJP and VHP come from US and UK. Gujarati NRIs who have big money give money to BJP/VHP to create havoc ...


Posted by sonu





Sub: Now you are making it a religious issue

Go for it MAN. Let's see how far you can go. When more than 2000 people were killed and nobody was found guilty, then WHO ...


Posted by Bob




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