IPS - Its Evolution



- By

H. S. Bedi

Hony. General Secretary

International Punjabi Society

Punjab, the land of five rivers and a cradle of earliest civilization known to man has passed from the earliest to the modern, after wading through turbulence that have led to the evolution of Punjabis as one of the most prosperous community of the world. They are not only industrious but are leaders par excellence also.

Inaugurating an International Punjabi Society Convention in New Delhi in the year 1993, the then Prime Minister Shri P.V. Narsimha Rao startled his audience by the remarks that the "Vedas were written in Punjab in the Punjabi language." The most recent history of Punjab is a memorable heritage of Punjabi culture. The Hindu, Muslim and Sikh sages and their lessons of humanitarianism are uniformly respected by all the Punjabis wherever they live in the world. An average Punjabi is a child of the earlier civilization, culture and circumstances that his forefathers passed through. The partition of the country the greatest tragedy of the past Millennium could not dampen their enthusiasm and they went on taking big strides towards progress in making the country self-sufficient and self-reliant.

It was with the initiative and foresight of the Founder Members that the idea to have an organization and forum for promoting and safeguarding the interests of Punjabis living in India and abroad crystallized and a process was set in motion for closer engagements on the topic. It took a final practical shape during a meeting and extensive deliberations amongst the representatives of USA, Thailand, Canada, UK and India. Shri Meharban Singh Dhupia, Dr. A. S. Marwah of Los Angeles, Shri Gurbachan Singh Gill of U.K., Shri J. S. Premi of New York and Mr. Asa S. Johal of Vancouver (Canada) represented their sides. For all its tryst with glory an International level organization of Punjabis for community services came into being in the year 1968, christened as "International Punjabi Society". Shri Meharban Singh Dhupia had the distinction of being first Honorary General Secretary with Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir as its President. Similarly, branch offices were established in different countries to co-ordinate the activities for promotion of love and brotherhood amongst the Punjabis settled all over the globe and had their mark felt by making big strides towards progress and economic resurgence of the countries of their domicile without in anyway losing their identity and ideals. Thus,with this golden opportunity the single common platform and forum for the Punjabis came into existence to safeguard the unique traditions that our society has embraced. International Punjabi Society has afforded opportunities to all the members and its constituents to celebrate, preserve and develop their cultural heritage while living within a variety of multi-cultural environment.

After the demise of our President Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir, Dr. G.S. Dhillon, the then speaker of Lok Sabha, took over the reigns of President of International Punjabi Society and this was followed by Dr. Inderjit Singh, the then Chairman and Managing Director, Punjab & Sind Bank Later Dr. Bhai Mohan Singh a distinguished industrialist, affluent businessman and veteran diplomat was bestowed with guiding the affairs. Dr. Bhai Mohan Singh was highly passionate with the idea and ambition for the achievement of the fabulous objectives of the Society to bring about Punjabi renaissance primarily in and outside India. After the demise of Dr. Bhai Mohan Singh, Mr. Ramesh Suri a renowned automotive industrialist, an educationist and also into hospitality sector, was the President of our esteemed Society. At Present, Hony. Brig. Dr. Anil Kohli, Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan Awardee and recipient of manyNational & International awards like B.C. Roy National Award, is the Current president of the Society.

Late Shri Meharban Singh Dhupia as its founder Honorary General Secretary controlled and showed the right path and direction for achieving the desired results for which the Society was established. The credit for setting up most of the branches in India and abroad is due to his Herculean efforts coupled with his charismatic personality. On the demise of Mr. Dhupia the baton was passed on to Shri P.S. Bedi. In culmination and recognition of various philanthropic activities, social services and service to humanity at large over decades, Hon’ble President of India conferred Mr. P.S. Bedi the honour of prestigious Padma Shri award. In addition, he was bestowed with many National and International awards, to name a few, “P.S. Bedi Hall” was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India, he received “Punjabi Ratan” award from the First Lady of the United States of America and “Life Time Achievement" award from the Turf Authority of India. He successfully hosted many International Punjabi Society’s National and International Conventions in India and abroad, inaugurated and presided by the highest dignitaries such as the President and Prime Minister of India. Further, he formulated “The Book Bank" project, which provided free books and scholarships to the meritorious under privileged students of the Delhi University.

The IPS is proud of its share of fame and has its own building at 48, Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar-III, New Delhi - 110 024. The Society is purely social and cultural organization without any political or religious stance. The Membership of the Society is open to all individuals regardless of his/her race, religion, country affiliation so long as they subscribe to the aims and objects of the society in promoting the sense of brotherhood amongst all the Punjabis.

All the branches of IPS in India and abroad are engaged in bringing about great affinity amongst Punjabis settled all over the world by doing commendable job of promoting eternal fraternity. It is a measure of satisfaction to watch our branches flourishing everywhere under the dynamic leadership of its eminent and distinguished Presidents. They all together constitute the backbone of this Society for projecting its magnificent image and in spreading the Punjabi ethos. Long serve International Punjabi Society rooted in tradition!

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