The Indian National Overseas Congress launched its Chicago-Illinois chapter at a banquet at the India House in Schaumburg, Illinois, April 30.
Community leaders Nick Gakhal, Iftekhar Shareef and Micky Kahlon laid the foundation for the chapter. They were complemented by support from the Midwest and representatives from the national chapter in New York, including Dr Surinder Malhotra, INOC-USA president, and from other adjunct associations in California, Florida, Michigan, and Indiana.
Gakhal, chairman, INOC-Chicago-Illinois chapter, said the Congress party had helped lay the foundations of enduring democracy in India. Shareef, the first Indian-American dual citizen and executive vice president of INOC-Chicago-Illinois chapter, said he would use his office to promote democracy, secularism, fraternity and the ethos of justice, liberty and equality.
Kahlon, who was sworn in as the new chapter president, urged the community to join the INOC to nurture and promote the goals of the Congress party in the Midwest, and pledged to start an active grassroots campaign in other states.
Earlier, Keerthi Kumar Ravoori described the Indian National Congress party and its affiliate Indian National Overseas Congress as a party of Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Maulana Azad.
Prominent INOC leaders present included George Abraham, general secretary, USA; Mahesh Saladi, general secretary and president of the Andhra Pradesh chapter, USA; Mohinder Singh Giljian, vice president, USA; Dr Najma Sultana, vice president, USA; Shudh Jasuja, vice president, USA; Dr Ramji Das Sethi, president, Connecticut chapter; Phumman Singh, president, Punjab chapter, USA; Swaran Singh, president, Haryana chapter, USA; and Dr Jeet Chandan, executive member, USA; Dr Bhupinder Sodhi from the Florida chapter and Lakhbir Gill from the California chapter.