November 2019 \ News \

“Leadership is communicating to people their worth ...

By Sayantan Chakravarty

Despite the plethora of political leaders who have helped expand the GOPIO worldwide and serve the interests of the overseas Indian community, the organization has remained largely apolitical. It has remained wary of all political leaders who could be using it to further their own political agenda. In some cases, breakaway groups, led by politicians, have tried to set up their own operations, but largely the GOPIO has kept clear of allowing political leadership to step in to anchor its activities.

In the year 2000, the GOPIO took up the cause of human rights violations of Indo-Fijians and sent a delegation to interact with the UN in Switzerland. In 2007, when a chief justice was sacked in Trinidad and Tobago, a demonstration was held outside the UN headquarters in New York. In 2008, when Indians were targeted in Germany, the GOPIO once again raised the matter internationally. The organization also decried the racist nature of attacks on Indian students in Australia, and took initiatives to stem the rot by meeting with Australian and Indian leadership. Singh piloted, successfully, a nation-wide campaign in the USA against the supply of highly sophisticated military hardware, including AWACS, to Pakistan that would endanger Indian interests. In the mid 1980s, while with the NFIA, he campaigned, successfully yet again, against the proposed drastic reduction in the immigration quota for Family Reunification provisions of the U.S. Immigration laws.

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