Narainji Kataria An Iconic Hindu Activist

 N.K. Pic

By Prakash Waghmare 

Shri Narainji Kataria, the ‘Hindu Lion’ that roared relentlessly for more than 30 years in the interest of his community, passed away quietly in his sleep on November 2 night at the age of 85. Narainji was like Iconic ‘Shri Balasaheb Thakare of USA’ – fearless, passionate, and determined to uphold the dignity of ‘Hindus and Hindutva’. He was a hardcore nationalist, a superb community organizer and an Iconic political activist for Hindu-diaspora in USA

Narainji was a victim of a horrific historic trauma of ‘Partition of India’. As a teenager in Sindh, what he saw and experienced during the ‘Partition’ was what essentially shaped him for the future. He was born on February 15, 1930 in Sukkur, Sindh. His parents died when he was quite young and so, as the eldest son, it became his responsibility to take care of his 3 siblings and bring them to India. After, settling down in Ulhasnagar near Mumbai, he once again started studies, earning a Master’s Degree in History while simultaneously working to support his family. In May 1956, he married ‘Bhagwantiji’ and had two daughters, Meena and Rajni. After a stint at “Bhabha Atomic Research Ctr (BARC)” in Mumbai, Narainji came to USA in early 1970s and started working as ‘Legal Asstt.’ for the Law firm of ‘Cahill Gordon’, till he retired in 1998.

From the beginning, Narainji, was troubled by Hindu’s callous indifference towards preserving and propagating their culture & religion. He strongly felt that vested interests of some of the minority sections of the society, were bent upon marginalizing Hindu society and nation’s character with the help of leftist Media. To educate the masses, he used his proficiency in writing with razor-sharp, opinionated prose that could rouse the readers. He reached out to tens of thousands through his network of admirers and supporters on weekly basis. He gave numerous interviews on TV and Radio and arranged record number of protests and rallies. He also founded “Hindu American Intellectual Forum” to reach out to the elites of the society. To bring the entire Hindu community together, he successfully started organizing “Hindu Sangathan Din” (Hindu Solidarity Day), 20 years back. Now, it is one of the most eagerly-awaited events in New York.

Always sharply dressed, Narainji was a people’s person and attended every event that brought Indian community together. Queens-borough President once proclaimed a ‘Narain Kataria Day’ in Queens-County, NY in his honor to acknowledge his contributions to the society. Once he was sued for alleged slander of a political bigwig for huge sum of money but he stood his grounds till the case was dismissed. Few times he was even threaten of bodily harm, but he couldn’t care less. His happiest days in life were when BJP got majority in the Parliament and Shri Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India. Sadly, around the same time his wife of more than a half-century passed away. Narainji was larger-than-life and touched millions of lives, not just in USA but in other countries. So many adjectives have been tagged on him from all over the world after his departure, but please make no mistake – each one of them is true and helps define him. He was one of a kind ‘Karmayogi’ who served ‘Bharat’ and ‘Hindus’, by residing thousands of miles away in one-bedroom apartment with his family. There wasn’t anyone like him nor there would be, at least in foreseeable future.