The relative paucity of organizational capacity among top brass of the Federation of Indian Associations was again in evidence at the celebration of Indian Republic Day at Shalimar Banquet hall in Addison, a Chicago suburb.
The FIA handling of India Day Parade and a subsequent dinner was nothing short of a fiasco and had met with critical review all around. It was expected that the Republic day event would provide an opportunity to erase those past ugly memories. But no – it was a poorly attended and poorly orchestrated event.
1) These days most of the social organizations are a stage for PHDs: “Photo Hungry Desis or Duds”, (as all Desis are not PHDs).
2) All talks were more about themselves, hardly any one talked about the main event of Republic day of India. These PHDs have to look at the audience to see if they are interested in their speeches and things they talk about.
3) Though Shalimar contributed by providing food and the Hall for free, the food items needed to be separated based on primary classifications of Veg and Non Veg. This was not done or listed. A few of the attendees without realizing ate “Chicken Curry”, and then got highly upset. This was extremely reflective on the management style on the part of those hosting the event. Hope there are no lawsuits forthcoming.
The FIA should apologize and request the forgiveness for their mistakes to all Jains, Vaishnavs and strict vegetarians who were there.
4) It is always true that honey attracts the bees, and seemed that good number of PHDs can easily be attracted.
5) Sound system was a little too loud besides; performances were not timed property as lot of time was consumed in speeches. For most, the dinner was more entertaining and enjoyable than paying attention to performances. The result was that after the dinner that was delayed, the many bees sucking the honey left since it was working week for most.
6) The saving grace was that many came to welcome and respect the new Consul General in Chicago, and honor Dr. Bharat Barai, a highly respected community figure who bagged Pravasi Bharatiya Sanman Award in India last month
7) The New CG Ms Neeta Bhushan endeared herself with her humility and charming personality. She is a down to earth person, eager to help the community for any issues they may face. She asked them to contact her directly-without any hesitation.
The new board got sworn in and many feel that it would take into consideration the healthy observations made above.