Eminent Indian Physician Leaders from USA give a hearty farewell to Amb Sandhu


He was praised for his amazing leadership in making Indo-US leadership stronger and applauded for his role in PM Modi ji’s historic visit to the White House

Our Bureau

New York, NY

Honourable Ambassador Taranjit S. Sandhu is set to retire at the end of the month as an Ambassador to the USA after a memorable period of 4 years. Ambassador Sandhu assumed charge as Ambassador to the United States on February 3, 2020. He has had an illustrious career having served as Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Deputy Chief of Mission, DCM as well as other prestigious positions in the USA.

Many eminent physician leaders attended a meet on Zoom held on January 17th, 2024, Wednesday, which was organised by Dr Sudhir Sekhsaria, Dr Raj Bhayani, Dr Manbir Takhar, Dr Hemant Dhingra, and Dr Narendra Kumar. About 30 physician leaders from the USA attended the meeting held in honour of Ambassador Sandhu.

The meeting was initiated by Dr Sudhir Sekhsaria with a warm welcome and introduction of the participants and greetings to the honourable ambassador.

Dr Raj Bhayani expressed gratitude to the Ambassador for his amazing leadership in making Indo-US leadership stronger and applauded his role in making Prime Minister Modi ji’s historic visit to the White House, a grand success.

Dr Narendra Kumar emphasized the role of the Ambassador in uniting all different factions of Indian communities in the USA.

Dr Hemant Dhingra said in his remarks how the economic ties between the two countries have reached a new high under the leadership of the Ambassador.

Dr Manbir Thakkar elaborated on how the Indian community had a warm reception at India House in Washington DC and the bond between India House and community has been strongest ever during the last four years.

Dr Vinod Shah appreciated the services of the Ambassador to the Indian Physicians in the USA.

Dr Harbhajan Ajrawat who has known the Ambassador for a long time gave a historical perspective on the life of the Ambassador.

As Taranjit Singh Sandhu is finishing his current assignment as the Ambassador of India to the United States of America, the occasion was used to wish him farewell and success in any future endeavour he may choose to undertake. It is no secret and much has been said about his illustrious career in the Indian Foreign Service.

This was his second appointment as Ambassador, his first being Ambassador to Sri Lanka. He was posted to the United States four times, while three times with the Indian Embassy in Washington DC. During his tenure in Washington, he was not only instrumental in bringing the Indian Diaspora in the United States together but also in bringing the two great democracies together as well. Due to his untiring efforts, and his diplomatic acumen, he was able to mitigate and thwart quite a few obstacles that threatened the relationship of the two countries. At present India continues to enjoy a very good relationship with the United States. That he was able to make this meaningful contribution is no small task and is easy to understand once one is familiar with his rich family legacy and heritage.

Taranjit Singh Sandhu belongs to a prominent Sikh family with deep roots in Punjab, India. He is the grandson of Sardar Teja Singh Samundri. Sardar Teja Singh Samundri was a prominent leader and visionary who played a key role in the Gurdwara Reform Movement (GRM) which returned the Sikh religious institutions to their democratic roots and brought the Sikh community into the freedom struggle and thereby altered the perception of Sikhs in colonial India. In honour of his work and his contribution to the Sikh community, he is the only non-guru in whose honour a building inside the sacred Golden Temple complex has been named The Teja Singh Samundri Hall.

Besides his role in the GRM movement, Sardar Teja Singh Samundri was very much involved in bringing education, knowledge and information to the common man. Even though he had limited education himself, he opened several schools to educate the masses and was instrumental in launching the newspaper Hindustan Times which was later acquired by M. M. Malaviya and later GD Birla. Much of this was through personal sacrifice and putting up his own funds.

This promising young life came to a tragic end, under mysterious circumstances, at the young age of 44, while imprisoned by the British in a Lahore jail. Nevertheless, his legacy continued through his son, Sardar Bishan Singh Samundri who was awarded a scholarship to study at the Ohio State University. After acquiring his Masters degree, he returned to India and became the Principal of Khalsa College Amritsar, Punjab. He eventually became the founding Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Punjab. Sardar Bishan Singh was the father of Taranjit Singh Sandhu. Taranjit’s mother, Jagjit Sandhu, also having studied abroad, retired as Principal of Government College for Women in Amritsar, Punjab.

Mr Gary Sikka, president of the American Punjabi Association emphasized the role of the Ambassador in uniting the Hindu Sikh community and his visit to the New York Gurudwara.

In concluding remarks, the Ambassador expressed his gratitude to the Indian community in the USA. He applauded the strength of the Indian diaspora. It is the bond of the Indian diaspora which has been very powerful in making the Indo-US relationship stronger. He highlighted the role and sacrifice of Indian physicians during covid in serving humanity. He emphasised the strength of the Indian physician community in the USA which has helped him to create closer ties between India and the USA.

Dr Sudhir Sekhsaria thanked the Ambassador and all eminent physicians for attending the farewell for the Ambassador and everyone expressed that they all are in solidarity and are supportive of the next endeavour of the Ambassador in serving our motherland.

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