June 8, 2009
Dedication Remarks: Dr. Madhavan Anirrudhan
[Dr. Anirudhan intended on being at the dedication, but business and travel complications prevented his appearance. He sent these remarks to be read at the ceremony on May 16, 2009. They were read aloud by Alma College President Saundra Tracy. We are grateful to Dr Anirudhan for the honor of presenting his words for our edification. File photo.]
Mar Makarios Metropolitan
From Dr. M. Anirudhan
Dr. Madhavan Anirudhan is the founder President of FOKANA, an academician as a nuclear Chemist, the corporate head of research for one of the largest multi-national companies and now President and CEO of ESSEN Nutrition Corporation of Chicago and a social worker among Indians in North America.
He was awarded Bharathiya Pravasi Samman Award by the President of India, Dr. J Abdul Kalam in 2006.
He wanted to share few of his memories of his grace Mar Makarios Metropolitan to this august audience.
I have been associated with all the religious denominations from India serving in this country. And almost all have very broadminded for people from other faiths. His grace Mar Makarios stands on the top of the line in this category with distinct difference.
When the Federation of the Kerala Associations of North America, known as FOKANA, was established bringing a national organization for the 500,000 Keralites of USA and Canada, Mar Makarios worked for its formation along with Hon. K R Narayan, former President of India who was then the Ambassador of India at Washington D C.
When we were finalizing the constitution of FOKANA, its membership was centered on all the secular Kerala organizations in North America. A demand was made by several Kerala religious organizations for membership. We consulted Mr. K R Narayanan. He told us that this is a delicate matter, ask the advise of Mar Makarios Thirumeni. We approached his grace. He reminded us how the founding fathers of America made this country a place of equality for all faiths - the greatness of America in not mixing the Church and the State. The people of Kerala origin in North America should have the same idealistic world in their national organization. We finalized the constitution of FOKANA in that spirit. Later Hon. Mr. K R Narayanan remarked to me “Among so many religious priests that columns the spiritual world of Malayalees Mar Makarios stands alone.”
In the late 80’s the Indian state of Punjab was disturbed with violent intolerance of religious friction. We organized a religious harmony seminar in Chicago. Dr. Karan Singh, Maharaja of Kashmir, one of the greatest living scholars of the Eastern Philosophy was the guest of honor. We brought His Grace Mar Makarios to represent Kerala. Dr. Karan Singh asked us that who are the representatives of the other two religions from Kerala. I said “His Grace Mar Makarios Metropolitan”. Dr Karan Singh got puzzled. Other states participated had Hindu scholars and Muslim scholars. That evening witnessed Mar Makarios Metropolitan as the star speaker. During the concluding remarks, Dr Karan Singh exclaimed, “When all the India burns with religious fanaticism, there is one exception – the State of Kerala. We always wonder why Kerala is different. We heard Mar Makarios Metropolitan. Now I understand why. “
His Grace Mar Makarios was distinctly different! In epic proportions!
Mar Makarios Thirumeni was awarded THE FOKANA LIFETIME AWARD IN 2002 IN CHICAGO at Sheraton Convention Center, the greatest honor FOKANA ever awarded to anybody. Over 5000 Keralites witnessed this ceremony where it was stated to His Grace:
“By accepting this honor, you are bestowing the greatest honor to 33 millions Keralites around the world.”
Indeed He did. His Grace brought Honor and Belongingness to us!
Thank you very much.
Posted by John Brian at 8.6.09