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Aziz Haniffa in Washington
Swadesh Chatterjee, the first Indian American to win the Padma Bhushan in the public affairs category, has been honoured in the United States with several celebratory events.
The Indian American community in North Carolina also pulled out all stops to
hail its adopted son.
At a reception for him, US lawmakers David Price, Bob Etheridge and Roy
Cooper were among several guests on hand to congratulate the West Bengal-bred Chatterjee on being conferred the Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest
Local newspaper Cary News in Cary, North Carolina, published a lengthy
article on Chatterjee, president of Brandt Instruments.
Congressman Price took to the floor of the US House of Representatives before it recessed for the summer to inform his colleagues of the honour bestowed on Chatterjee.
He said: "Particularly noteworthy has been Chatterjee's presidency over the past two years of the Indian American Forum for Political Education, one of the oldest and most respected Indian American organisations in the nation.
"He helped stimulate the growth of our congressional caucus on India and Indian Americans. He encouraged former president Bill Clinton to make his historic trip to India last year."
Chatterjee's wife Manjusri is an accomplished psychiatrist. They have two children.
At the reception, Chatterjee said: "As a young boy growing up in the small town of Somamukhi in West Bengal, I remember how in awe I was of the men and women who were chosen to receive these honours. They were my heroes.
"Today I look upon them as legends. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe
that I too would be thus honoured."
Chatterjee immigrated to the US in 1978 and became an American citizen in
He said: "I have always believed we Indian Americans are fortunate to be the
children of two mothers - India, which gave us our lives, and the US, which gives us our livelihood. I left India to seek my dreams, but I have never left her behind."
Indo-Asian News Service
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