[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 147 (2001), Part 8]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page 11087]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]



                          HON. DAVID E. PRICE

                           of north carolina

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, June 19, 2001

  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, in recent weeks celebratory 
events have been held both in Washington and in my district in North 
Carolina, honoring one of our most distinguished citizens, Swadesh 
Chatterjee, upon his reception of India's Padma Bhushan award in the 
area of public affairs. The award was conferred by the President of 
India on March 22, 2001.
  Established in 1954, the Padma Bhushan is one of the highest civilian 
awards that the Indian Government can bestow on an individual. Mr. 
Chatterjee is the first Indian American from North Carolina to receive 
this award and the first Indian American to receive the award in the 
public affairs category.
  ``As a young boy growing up in the small town of Somamukhi, West 
Bengal,'' Mr. Chatterjee recalled, ``I remember how in awe I was of the 
men and women who were chosen to receive these honors.'' Yet for those 
of us who have come to know Swadesh Chatterjee and to appreciate his 
leadership, this award is not surprising and is richly deserved. For 
Swadesh Chatterjee has gained recognition in North Carolina as an 
astute businessman and a respected community and political leader, and 
in recent years he has become well-known nationally as well.
  Particularly noteworthy has been Mr. Chatterjee's presidency over the 
past two years of the Indian-American Forum for Political Education 
(IAFPE), one of the oldest and most respected Indian-American 
organizations in the Nation. In this capacity he worked effectively to 
strengthen the organization at the grass roots and to raise its profile 
nationally. He helped stimulate the growth of our Congressional Caucus 
on India and Indian-Americans. He encouraged President Clinton to make 
his historic trip to India last year and accompanied him when he went.
  Mr. Chatterjee, his wife Manjusri, who is an accomplished 
psychiatrist, and their children Sohini and Souvik, are citizens of 
Cary, NC, whom I am honored to represent. They have helped make the 
Indian-American community in our State a vibrant one, and they have 
greatly enriched our wider community as well. Swadesh Chatterjee once 
said that he and other Indian-Americans were ``fortunate to be the 
children of two mothers: India, which gave us our lives, and the United 
States, which gives us our livelihood.'' He and his family are proud 
Americans who contribute a great deal to our country and remind us that 
being American does not require a masking or suppressing of our 
diversity; on the contrary, our country is enriched by the flourishing 
of the multiple ethnic and cultural traditions from which we came.
  Mr. Speaker, the Padma Bhushan Award is a fitting recognition not 
only of Swadesh Chatterjee's contribution to his native land but also 
of what he has contributed to America and to Indian-American relations. 
And while it surely represents a high point of his career, I am also 
confident that it points to even greater things to come!