Uma Swaminathan, Vijaya Thayanban, Upendra Chivukula and Calai Chandrasekaran
Uma Swaminathan, Vijaya Thayanban, Upendra Chivukula and Calai Chandrasekaran

Prakash M Swamy

NEW JERSEY: The America Tamil Sangam and Association of Indians in America (AIA) New Jersey chapter jointly hosted a reception last week for Vijaya Thayanban, Member-Secretary of Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram, Tamil Nadu Government, who is on an official visit to the US, at A2B Restaurant, Hadley Road in South Plainfield, NJ.

Vijaya Thayanban is a senior leader of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party in Tamil Nadu and also coordinator of party’s women’s wing. She was recently appointed to the post of Member Secretary to foster music, art and culture in the state by Chief Minister M K Stalin.

Upendra Chivukula, former deputy speaker of New Jersey Assembly and currently Commissioner on the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, who presided over the function, praised the role of Ms Thayanban in serving as a link between overseas Tamils and the Tamil Nadu government in promoting Tamil culture, music, literature and art.

Chivukula also conferred the title “Tamil Ma Mani” on Ms. Thayanban on behalf of both the associations for her lifelong contribution for the promotion of Tamil music, dance, culture, literature and art forms.

In her acceptance speech, Thayanban said the DMK Government led by Chief Minister M K Stalin is pro active and investor-friendly. She appealed to Tamil entrepreneurs in the US to invest in Tamil Nadu and reap the benefits offered by the state government.

She assured that she will support US born and raised Tamil children proficient in Bharathanatyam and music in Tamil Nadu. She said she was happy to celebrate the 99th birth anniversary of her leader former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu the late Muthuvel Karunanidhi among nonresident Tamils.

“Mr. Stalin considers overseas Tamils as an asset to the state and would consider any suggestions for better living or resolve any grievances, if any, of Non Resident Tamils,” she said.

Ram Tirumala, NJ chapter president of Association of Indians in America (AIA) recollected the active role played by Thayanban in improving the condition of women in Tamil Nadu. Dr Frankie Hutton, celebrated author of several Black history books and a professor spoke on the occasion.

Calai Chandrasekaran, president of America Tamil Sangam, in her welcome address said this was her first meeting held under her leadership after assuming charge as president of the prestigious Tamil association. She congratulated Ms Thayanban for her role in promoting traditional art forms.

Uma Swaminathan, national vice president of Association of Indians in America (AIA) said her organization was proud to co-host the event for a person who worked for women’s emancipation in Tamil Nadu.

Vijaya Thayanban, invitees and members of both the associations also celebrated the birth anniversary of the late Muthuvel Karunanidhi by offering flowers to his photograph kept on the podium.

Balamurugan, managing director of A2B Restaurant, a branch of Adyar Ananda Bhavan in the US, John Joseph, president of Tamil Nadu chapter of Overseas Indian Congress, Gajendran Ganesan, former secretary of America Tamil Sangam and Dr Kalyani Duraiswamy, a pharmaceutical scientist were among those attended the function.