A condolence meeting was held at the Woodland banquet hall to celebrate the life of Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw. Organized by Zarir Bhandara the meeting brought together a large cross section of the community including members from the local Parsee Zoroastrian community.
Also present was Indian Dy Consul Gen PP Sircar, Bangla Desh Dy Consul Gen Nazrul Islam, Brig J Sikand from the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, and eminent community elder, FIA founding father, past President and Chairman NFIA and Fia and current President GOPIO S.Inder Singh alongwith SIVA Chairman Grp Capt AS Ahluwalia and SIVA Prez Lt (Indian Navy) TJ Barring.
Emceed by Perine Medora,the program commenced with the lighting of the lamp and prayers, both from the Geeta and the Zoroastrian Gatha. National anthems of both USA and India were sung and Nauzad Sadry sang a devotional song. A video clip gave the attendees an insight to Manekshaw and his era.
There were speeches where the speakers paid glowing tribute to the late Field Marshal. Inder Singh in his eulogy described Manekshaw as the last of the great Generals that shaped India's destiny. Likewise
Grp Captain A S Ahluwalia too paid his respects to the late Field Marshal. Other speakers include the Dy Consul Gen of India and of Bangladesh, Brig Sikand and host Zarir Bhandara alongwith the usual community members.
Messages from Ronen sen and President Pratibha Patil were also read out.Zarir Bhandara is the owner of Woodlands Restaurant and also a Parsee Zoroastrian priest. In his address he thanked the guests for attending and also paid his respects to Manekshaw.Lt TJ Barring announced that SIVA is holding its own program Oct 05 to honor Manekshaw. Manekshaw was the Chief of the Indian Army during the 1971 war with Pakistan.
It was in this war that Lt General Jagjit Singh Aurora created military history with a lightning campaign in the Eastern sector that led to the birth of Bangladesh. Aurora was then GOC Eastern Command and it he on whose shoulders fell the responsibility of doing a military miracle. A sizeable portion of the So Cal desi community was first hand witness to those events of 1948, 1962, 1965 and 1971. Unlike other parts of India, those in Punjab and present day Bangla Desh are only too familiar with the horrors of war.