August 1, 2004
Chicago, IL: The August 7th Chicago convention being held by IMC-USA will feature cricket bats specially signed and sent by Indian cricket icon Irfan Pathan for the convention audience. These bats will be available during the banquet session. In a message sent to IMC-USA, in reference to its convention, Irfan Pathan wrote, “First of all please accept my hearty congratulations for making such an endeavor to inculcate the ideology of universal Brotherhood, plural thinking and mutual respect and tolerance with various religions and beliefs. Please convey my wholehearted support and good wishes for this Noble thought and movement to all those who share it”.
Pathan’s gesture is being appreciated by his many fans, including members of the Chicago area Gujarati Muslim Association of America (GMAA). “It is exciting to know that Irfan Pathan’s autographed bats are available at the 2nd IMC-USA annual convention in Chicago,” said Zafar Patel, a lifelong cricket fan, adding “It is evidence of how a sport like cricket can teach us that communal harmony is fundamental to India’s success whether it be in sports or any other aspect of the society”.
The convention has brought together activists and leaders of the Indian Diaspora from all backgrounds. There will be focused sessions on human rights and updates on the struggle to get justice for the victims of Gujarat genocide. The convention includes a session dealing with the issues of female empowerment as women usually bear the brunt of communal violence.
The Keynote speaker at the convention will be:
Lord Adam Patel of Blackburn
Member of the House of Lords and Chief patron of Council of Indian Muslims, UK.
Other speakers for various sessions at the daylong event include:
Dr. K.P. Singh, Eminent Dalit leader
Chairperson, International Association of the Advancement of Dalits.
President of Promise of India, a coalition of various communities and organizations.
Distinguished Hindu Scholar, Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment.
Dr. Omar Khalidi
Independent Scholar of MIT, Specializing in contemporary Indian Muslim History.
Founder and Chairman, Indian Muslim Relief and Charities, IMRC.
Rajinder Singh Mago
Sikh representative and community leader.
Indian Christian leader and the head of PIFRAS, a think tank on South Asia.
Representative of Amnesty International.
Chicago area Representative of Human Rights Watch.
Attorney Asim Ghafoor
Washington Expert and Lobbyist.
Renowned historian and journalist.
Dr. Lise McKean
Ph.D., Eminent scholar specializing in Political Economy of the Hindutva Nationalist movement.
Human Rights activist & daughter of the slain former Indian MP. Ahsan Jafri.
Dr. Satinath Choudhry
Political Activist and a Dalit leader.
Prominent Buddhist Leader.
Dr. Kamala Visweswaran
Anthropologist and Social Activist.
Prof. Hari Sharma
South Asia Expert and President of SANSAD and INSAF.
Indian Muslim Leader and former President of Association of Indian Muslims.
NRI’s for Secular and Harmonious India (NRI-SAHI).
Rao Irfan Ahmed Khan
Main organizer, World Parliament of Religions.
Community leader general secretary of Indian Overseas Congress.
Dr. Shaik Ubaid
and many others.
The convention is expected to become an annual tradition for scholars, activists and those concerned about protecting India’s pluralism and promoting her prosperity. According to Khalid Khan, member of the publicity committee and president of Innovia Designs, the convention is gathering significant buzz in the Chicago area.
For more information and to register, delegates and journalists may visit: