Optimism, Politics and Business Mingle at BJP Outreach

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The panelists for the OFBJP meet and greet at India House.

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: Pride brimmed over as both the speakers and the audience broke into shouts of Bharat mata ki jai (victory to Mother India) after singing the Indian National Anthem. The young emcee, Abiya Malhotra, spoke warmly in Hindi as she welcomed the audience of around 80 people who wanted to hear about the advances made in India under the rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its leader Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It was a hastily convened meeting at India House this past Friday evening, November 20  to introduce the local community to a visiting official of the BJP, the President  of the Mumbai legal cell Ameet Mehta, who is also the Managing Partner of the Mumbai-based law firm, Solicis Lex. The firm provides Indian and Foreign law advisory services pertaining to mergers and acquisitions, immigration law, civil and criminal matters, including due diligence,  joint ventures, partnerships, private equity, IPR, trademark and patent law and many other issues through its affiliate offices in Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Israel and Canada.

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From left: Sangeeta Dua, founder TV Houston; Mack Anjani, TV Houston Sales and Marketing; Houston Councilman Richard Nguyen; And Ameet Mehta receiving a certificate of appreciation from US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s representative Rahman Moton.

Mehta arrived in Houston after visiting Los Angeles, Boston and Tampa, Florida, where he had met likewise with local community businesses. A tall, slim young man who came in a white shirt and a sleeveless, dark waistcoat of the style made famous by Modi, he was introduced by Sangeeta Dua, an aspiring media producer who hopes to shortly commence the TV Houston local television channel. Dua had organized the event after a quick trip to Mumbai to meet Mehta and other BJP associates. She was helped in the effort by Mack Ajani, a local businessman who spent three months in Mumbai arranging the trip for Mehta, and is the Director of Sales and Marketing for TV Houston.

“The main agenda of my law firm is not to earn money,” said Mehta, “but to make people highly successful.” He explained how, on a trip to Hong Kong, he had chanced on a book that gave him rare insight on leadership qualities. The book broke down people into four categories: the common man who criticizes everything; the manager who follows instructions; the leader who takes the initiative to run the show. “But there is another who is higher than all: the Role Model, which is what we want and what Modi is doing!”  He gave another example of facing a difficult position in Nokia, the defunct cell phone company, which had to sell to Microsoft, and how the firm president had to explain it had become too introverted and couldn’t catch up to the speed of technology.

Mehta sat on the stage behind a draped table and beside him sat other business associates of his and a couple of community leaders: Ami Patel, incoming President of the Gujarati Samaj; Anand Sharma, President of the local chapter of the Overseas Friends of BJP and Houston District F Councilman Richard Nguyen who is in the December 12 runoff seeking re-election. Business associates were Raed Gonzalez, an immigration attorney with Gonzalez Olivieri LLC; Angelica Garcia-Dunn, founder and owner of AIM Global Logistics freight forwarders and Nisha Smith, who specializes in real estate in India.

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Ameet Mehta, the President of the legal cell of the BJP in Mumbai spoke about the qualities of a leader

Gonzalez explained how he moved to immigration law from criminal law as he saw a chance to help people; Patel said the Gujarati Samaj wanted to reach younger second generation Indian; Nguyen explained his background as a refuge from Vietnam and being a Buddhist; Smith said she wanted to help NRIs find their dream house in India and Garcia said it was exciting to align with the BJP’s vision for India. It was Sharma who expanded on the role of the BJP in advancing India. “BJP people believe in sacrificing life for the people,” he said. “Modi and others saved a sinking ship. India is on the verge of a revolution and will become one of the greatest countries in the world.”

Sangeeta Dua expressed her thanks to the presenters, first in Hindi, then in English; giving each of them a small present and an embroidered shawl as a mark of respect. Rahman Moton, a Burmese American of Indian descent and the President of the Myanmar Chamber of Commerce, presented certificates of appreciation from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, whom he was representing, to Mehta and Dua.

Mehta concluded the meeting with a joke on lawyers; which Gonzalez could not resist passing up by offering a joke of his own; to which Moton added his own. The event ended with a buffet dinner catered by the Dosa Factory.