Nevada Clergy Association demands probe into Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards

January 19th, 2008 - 1:39 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil
Nevada (USA), Jan.19 (ANI): The Nevada Clergy Association of America has demanded an “exhaustive probe” into the awarding of prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (PBS) Awards by Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), which were given on January nine.
In a fax sent to President Pratibha Patil, the Right Reverend Gene Savoy Jr., the President of the Association, who himself is a highly respected Christian Bishop of Nevada, said that they strongly felt that prominent Hindu chaplain Rajan Zed highly deserved it because of his outstanding contributions to social, religious, humanitarian causes and enhancing India’s prestige.
Bishop Savoy further said in this memorandum, “Besides comprehensive investigation into the granting of this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards, as a rectification measure, India Government should award Mr. Rajan Zed with a ‘Padma Shri’ award.”
Some other organizations and individualsPrayer and Peace Circle, India Heritage Panel, Society of Community Journalists, Lila D. Sharma of International Trade Front, Ashok Singhi of Indian Media Centre, Friends of Rajan Zedhave already demanded extensive enquiry into the granting of PBS awards alleging nepotism and policy violation among other charges, and stress that, as a measure of remedy, Government of India should award Rajan Zed with a “Padma Shri” award,
Dharam Loonaa, journalist and President of Prayer and Peace Circle, who has also sent inquiry demanding faxes to Prime Minister of India and others, is planning to inspect documents, records, memos, e-mails, logbooks, computer and electronic data, etc., of MOIA and other bodies related to PBS Awards under Right to Information Act to find the truth.
He said that by not awarding Zed, MOIA had made a mockery of PBS Awards. Loonaa further said that there was no match to Zed among overseas Indians in promoting ancient Indian heritage and culture abroad, interfaith dialogue, and peace.
The Nevada Clergy Association is composed of priests/pastors/ministers/etc. of Christian (various denominations like Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican, Latter-Day Saints, etc.), Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Bahai, Native American, etc., religions in Nevada state of US. PBS Awards are considered most prestigious awards for overseas Indians.
Rajan Zed was the first to read prayer from ancient Sanskrit scriptures in United States Senate in Washington DC on July 12 last in its 218 years history. He has recited such history making prayers in some other State legislatures of US and is scheduled to read in some more in the near future. (ANI)

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