By Suman Guha Mozumder
India in New York (New Jersey Chronicle)
August 18, 2000
The Uttaranchal Association of North America (UANA) — reflecting the area of Uttar Pradesh in the process of becoming a state in its own right — held its second annual convention on Aug. 12 in Edison, New Jersey.
About 250 people, according to UANA president Lal Adhikari, gathered at the Beth El Temple for the one-day event that drew people from Georgia, Chicago, North Virginia and Canada as well as the tristate area.
The convention showcased the culture and heritage of the people from Uttaranchal — the hilly areas of northwest Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. “Our focus was mainly cultural, but there were a few speakers as well who talked about the organization’s activities and plans,” Adhikari told India in New York.
He said there was considerable excitement among those attending the convention over the fact that the Indian government has decided to create a separate state of Uttaranchal.
On Aug. 1 the Lok Sabha passed the Uttar Pradesh State Reorganization Bill, 2000 to create Uttaranchal, and the bill now has to be passed in the Rajya Sabha. Union Home Minister L.K. Advani has said that the Union government would take all necessary steps to ensure the financial health of the upcoming state.
Adhikari said many of the participants at the convention expressed their willingness to help the proposed state’s development.
Among those present at the convention were H.V.S. Manral, counselor press relations at the Indian Consulate, who was the chief guest; Jasbir Singh, a retired professor from Boston; and Rajiv Rawat, who presented a slide show chronicling the history and the struggle of the people of Uttaranchal.