Canada India Foundation — Democracies Working Together, Dec 2020 E-Newsletter

#Canada; #India #CIF; #Covid19Vaccine; #GlobalIndianAward; #YogaInEverydayLife; #HinduHeritageMonth; #HinduCulture; #Alberta; #IndiaNewParliamentBldg; #IMO; #IndiaNavIC; #IndiaFarmBills #OttawaFinancialSupports; #Covid19SecondWave;

Image credit: Official Logo

CIF E-Newsletter: Volume 23 Issue#10 Dec 2020

Satish Thakkar. Image credit: Website

Chair of Canada India Foundation (CIF), Satish Thakkar‘s Message

Looking forward to a newer and better year

Hello friends. We are going into what is traditionally called the festive season, a season of giving, rejoicing, and gratitude. It is also a time we are under the dark cloud cast by the pandemic. Canada is in the midst of a second wave as are several countries including India. We are far from free of this scourge. Governments everywhere are readjusting their priorities and budgets to bring relief to the people and businesses that have been robbed of their livelihoods.

Canada’s budget, announced recently, is an example of an effort by our government to cope with the crisis through fiscal measures. Yes, we are getting into unknown territories with this level of deficits, but what other options do we have?

It is not all dark on the Covid19 front. The arrival of fully tested vaccines is imminent. The government of Canada revealed plans to inoculate people in the high-risk groups, starting in the new year. In the following months, it is hoped that millions more will be vaccinated and protected. The light is visible at the end of the long tunnel. Let us be thankful for that going into the holiday season. (Read More)

Satish Thakkar ended his speech as follows:

I invite everyone to log in on December 27 to be a witness to the award ceremony at our virtual gala where Superfan Nav Bhatia will be facilitated with the Global Indian Award that carries with it $50,000 that the winner will donate to a charity of his choice.

Wish you Happy Holidays and a great New Year!

Community Celebrates Hindu Heritage Month with Great Enthusiasm

The Hindu Heritage Month in Ontario was celebrated in a unique virtual event on November 29th, 2020 hosted by the Canada India Foundation and several Indo Canadian organizations. The event brought together close to fifty community and religious organizations on a common platform to present and promote the salient features of the millennia-old Hindu heritage. The main speaker was the revered spiritual guru Yogrishi Baba Ramdev Ji who spoke on Hindu Heritage and its relevance to the modern world. The event was sponsored by the ICICI Bank Canada and the Kothari Group. (Read more)

In closing remarks, Ritesh Malik, National Convener, CIF, thanked Yogrishi Baba Ramdev and said, “We have all come together on a common platform to celebrate the Hindu Heritage Month in Ontario. This is the way forward for all of us. The programs that we at CIF have initiated can get wings only when the community lends its support and blessings to them. We have seen recently the enthusiasm shown by the community on the Ayurveda Speaker Series. I want to extend our thanks and gratitude to Babaji, the many dignitaries that took time off from their busy schedules, leaders of the Indo-Canadian community organizations, volunteers, priests, and temple workers, and above all the large Hindu community that tuned in.”

“Spirituality is the main culture and nature of India”

29 November 2020: Yogrishi Baba Ramdev was the Main Speaker at a virtual event on November 29, hosted by the Canada India Foundation, in collaboration with dozens of Hindu temples and Indo Canadian organizations to celebrate the Hindu Heritage Month in Ontario. The following are excerpts from his talk.

Today, our topic is Hindu Philosophy and its Relevance. What is the scientific basis of our Hindu culture? Today, we see two dominant themes, one is materialistic and the other spiritual. Material success is important, we deserve all the wealth and health in our lives. We must work toward achieving our goals in every sphere — technology, science, resources, prosperity, power — we should have all these. They are essential for you to be able to do more in your life. The whole world is engaged in that effort. What we refer to as pusharth or abhudaya. But you can have all these, but if you do not have peace, you are left with a feeling of incompleteness. Without a spiritual dimension, you cannot live a peaceful life.

In conclusion, I want to say one thing. We don’t want to compare ourselves with anybody else. We respect and admire our ancient wisdom givers, the heritage and culture they blessed us with. In fact, we would like the entire world to be the same because all of us spring from the same source. Everyone everywhere is good. We take great pride in our own culture and heritage. But that does not mean others are not, or somehow inferior to us. We will not harm or wish ill for anybody else. But we also want others to have the same respect for our way and not to view us as inferior. I also encourage everyone to follow the path of yog in their daily lives; there will be no Corona, no BP, no sugar that way. We want to create a world free of poverty, drugs, violence, and disease. Yoga is the way. All the sufferings, the violence, and the darkness, all will disappear if everyone on earth practiced just one hour of you daily. Today in the interest of Hindu heritage and humanity as a whole, let us take a solemn pledge that we will follow the path of Yog. (Read more)

CIF Speaker Series

Out of this should emerge a reality that I have been talking about for 15 years which is that India obviously is and should be our closest ally, politically, strategically, and commercially — Premier Jason Kenney

While welcoming Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, the Guest Speaker at the CIF Virtual Speaker Series held on November 21, 2020, CIF Chair, Satish Thakkar offered to work with the Province and its Premier, “Jasonbhai” in every way possible to create and promote bilateral engagement between the Province and India. Thakkar added, “Alberta is facing some of the most difficult challenges in its history. But the inspirational leadership of Premier Kenney has kept the hopes of a revival alive among its citizens. Alberta was the key factor in Canada’s economic recovery during the 90s and early part of the new century. Under Premier Kenney’s able leadership, the Province may yet regain its preeminent position soon.” (Read more.)

For the full presentation, click here.

Pulse Reading As A Tool For Maintenance Of Health

Nadi Guru Acharya Vaidyaraj Sanjay Kumar Chhajed, founder and director of Nadi Guru Pulse Diagnostic Training and Research Centre in Mumbai was the main presenter on the virtual series on Ayurveda being hosted on the CIF platform. Dr. Sanjay Kumar, who was the 5th expert to feature on the series, explained a less known, but critical tool of diagnosis known to Ayurveda, called Nadi (pulse) reading. He said that self-reading of one’s pulse is one of the best methods to manage individual health. (Read more.)

For the presentation click here. To see the video click here.


Ottawa unveiled a new round of financial supports to respond to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, as the latest projections show the national deficit is projected to hit a new high: at least $381.6 billion this fiscal year. The deficit is growing for several reasons: ongoing pandemic supports, $25.1 billion in newly-announced programs aimed at getting badly-hit businesses through the next few months, as well as the early allocations being made to help rebuild the economy once the urgent health crisis passes. (Read more.)

Obama calls Trump era an ‘anomaly’ in Canada-U.S. relations

In a CBC Radio interview with host Matt Galloway, former US President Barack Obama, spoke on the state of the Canada US relationship and the implications of a Biden Presidency on bilateral ties. “I’ll be honest with you: On my scale of worries, in the aftermath of the Trump administration, the relationship between the United States and Canada is not at the top of the list. I think that is one that actually can be mended relatively quickly.” For an interview on CBC Radio, click here.

Raj Chouhan becomes the first Indo-Canadian Speaker of the B.C. Legislature

Raj Chouhan, five-time MLA for Burnaby-Edmonds, has been chosen Speaker of the B.C. Legislature, becoming the first Indo-Canadian to serve in the position in Canada. “I am truly grateful to have been entrusted with this role by all members of the legislative assembly,” Chouhan said. “As a proud member of the Indo-Canadian community, I am tremendously proud of this historic occasion and honored to continue my public service in this new role.” Chouhan was first elected in 2005 and served as deputy Speaker in the previous legislature. He immigrated to Canada from Punjab in 1973 and started working on a farm. (Read more)

Construction Begins on India’s New Parliament Building

Almost a hundred years after its first parliament building was built by India’s colonial masters, new India is getting a brand new facility that will rival the old in all its dimensions. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, laid the foundation stone for a new building complex in New Delhi on December 9th, 2020 that will be ready for occupation in two years. (Read more)

India Becomes 4th Country in the World with Its Own GPS

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has recognized India’s NavIC as a component of the World-Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS), the Indian Space Research Organisation said. This makes only the fourth country in the world, after the US, Russia, and China to have its own dedicated satellite mapping system. (Read more.)

India’s Stocks Index Hit Record High

India’s main stock market index extended its rally to scale new peaks in the second week of December, with the S&P BSE Sensex index crossing the 46,000 marks for the first time, amid optimism on a fast recovery from the coronavirus-caused economic slowdown. (Read more.)

Understanding India’s Farm Bills

India’s Farm Bills have not only got a section of Indian farmers agitated; they have come out to the highways and streets to show their displeasure, demanding the total repeal of the laws. The government of India, while agreeing to negotiate, has sent the signal out that negotiations have to be done in a fair give and take manner and that genuine issues will be addressed. The following links are attempts to explain the Farm Bills, by the Minister of Agriculture in India in a recent press conference and another independent commentator.

Indian Origin MP Takes Oath in Sanskrit

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