WASHINGTON: On Monday, February 6th,2012 a group of community leaders Dr T V George, J John (Sunny) Wycliffe, Dr Sambhu N Banik, Dr P C Nair and Dr Joy Cherian met with Foreign Secretary of India, Ranjan Mathai at his Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington DC, his maiden visit to USA after he assumed as the Foreign Secretary. Mathai warmly welcomed the leaders who were known to him when he worked as the First Secretary during the years 1981-1984.
At that time late K R Narayanan, former President of India, was the Ambassador of India. During the hour long meeting Foreign Secretary Mathai recalled his days in Washington DC and how his interactions with Indian Community and his active participation in many communities organized activities has shaped his thinking. He was very grateful to the Indian American Community for their warm hospitality during his tenure as the First Secretary.
Dr T V George, Sunny Wycliffe, Dr Joy Cherian, Dr P C Nair and Dr Sambhu N Banik all talked about those days when Indian American Forum for Political Education played a very leading role in educating the elected officials about India and Indian Americans. Dr Cherian recalled Senator Paul S Sarbanes advice as to how to get politically involved. Dr Nair and Dr Cherian both presented their books to him. Foreign Secretary Rajan Mathai did not forget to mention about FOKANA and its activities.
Foreign Secretary Mathai will be meeting Obama Administration Officials as well as some prominent Senators and Congressmen during his visit. His primary task would be to develop better relationships on a equality basis with all the countries including Pakistan. Sunny Wycliffe and Dr Sambhu N Banik invited Foreign Secretary Mathai for a Community wide Welcome Reception next time he visits Washington .He accepted our invitation for a Dinner Reception, most probably in June, 2012.
It was a very cordial and friendly meeting. We all left very happy and elated that one day he might return to Washington as the Ambassador of India to USA following the footsteps of former Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.