|New Yor, Oct 14: Magsaysay
Award winner Kiran Bedi has added yet another feather to her cap by recieving the Pride of India Award
at a convention of Indian American Muslims in New York.
Mrs Bedi, who is currently joint commissioner of the Police Traning college in Delhi was awarded by
the American Federation of Muslims of Indiann Origin at he 9th AFMI cnvention n Hempstead in Long
Island, New York.
Founded in1989 by a group of professional Muslims from India, American Federation of Muslims of Indian
orgin declares it "stands for a stable democratic secular and progressive India, where human
rights of all are preserved and no one is discriminated on the basis of their caste, religion,
language and region."
Convention chairman Shakir Mukhi and AFMI secretary-general A.S Nakadar declared at the awards
ceremony that AFMI strove to work in cloas co-operation with all who believed inits principles, which
was why they were honouring Mrs Bedi, a non-Muslim woman.
The other awardees were the well known academecian Allauddin Ahmed and former governer of West Bengal
and Bihar A.R.Kidwai.
All through the two-day convention addressed in a "kahdi kurta-sherwani-jacket"
ensemble, Ms Bedi's was a ubiquitous presence, takiing part in panel sessions on both days, signing
copies of her books, It's Always Possible, about her experiences in transforming one of the largest
prisons in the world, Tihar Jail and snatching minutes off discussions for quick fitness excercises.
|The theme of
the convention was " India's Pluralism. Challenges in the Next Millennium." There were
panels on Indian minorities and their challenges; Our responsibilities as an NRI; Indian Women ansd
nation building in the21st Century; Minorities empowerment; and building bridges.
Among the participants were a number of non-Muslims from India, such as Stanley Kalathara and Surinder
Malhotra of the newly formed Indo-American Democratic Committee and Bangladeshi American candidate for
state senate, Morshed Alam.
The presence of women was strong adding markedly to the liveliness and beauty of the convention, with
many of them in saris.
Ms Bedi said the spirit of the conference was open, liberal and secular.
Giving example of how the politically in correct were handled at onle of the panels, she said, "
Whem a spaker used the expression ' Muslims and Indian,' there was a howl of protest."
Then the speaker corrected himself and stated that he had meant " Muslim Indians and Hindu