Friday, October 24, 2003

Indians upbeat at Diwali celebrations at White House :

More on the Diwali in the White House

I guess my invitation got lost in the mail. Anyway, according to this poorly written and researched story,in the Hindustan Times--written of course by the Press Trust of India-- the White House celebrated Diwali for the first time ever with President George W Bush's closest aide and counsellor, Karl Rowe [sic], presiding over the festivities, seen by some as a sign of the growing clout of the community in the United States. Rowe, who is often referred to as the President's "Prime Minister", lighted the symbolic brass lamp inaugurating the festivities last evening in which some 70 select members of the Indian American community were invited. Underscoring the spirit and story of Diwali, Rowe, after conveying the personal greetings of President Bush, said that it was appropriate that the universal values of the festival were being observed in the Indian Treaty Room.

First of all I guess someone forgot to tell the PTI people, or the Hindustan Times people how to do proper name/fact checking. I am a blogger, and even I know to check the white house web page to check out names, if not just spelling of names. Unless I am super-mistaken, the story should be referring to a Karl Rove, not Karl Rowe.

The story goes on to tell that, "for nearly an hour-and-a-half, the Indian Treaty Room became a veritable mini India, as the Indian Americans, some second generation ones, savoured the moments over Kanchipuram idlis, samosas and ladoos and Hindustani music wafted in the room and Prachi Dalal's "ghunghroo" resonated as she performed a "Mangalam" item in Kathak style.

Neil Patel, a second generation Indian American lawyer who works in Vice-President Dick Cheney's office, officiated as the Master of Ceremonies. Gopal Khanna, CIO of Peace Corps, made closing remarks.

Among the several Indian American leaders who participated in the event were Piyush Agarwal, Dr Akshay Desai, Dr Rao Emandi (all from Florida), Dr Ashok Jain (Michigan), Dr Sharad Lakhanpal (Texas), Dr Shailendra Kumar, Dr Suresh Gupta (both from Maryland), Shashi Saha and Hemant Patel."

While I think this is awesome, and a great first step, lets not get the idea that there are going to be Diwali Diya's (candle's) on the mall or the White House grounds anytime soon.


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