In a programme with multiple tributes to Indian culture the National Press Club hosted a star-studded inaugural gala to mark the beginning of its 107th presidency under Myron Belkind, former Associated Press (AP) bureau chief in New Delhi and currently a Professorial Lecturer and George Washington University (GWU).

Among the references to India, honouring Mr. Belkind’s long association with the country was a feisty dance performance by GWU Bhangra Group, delectable Indian cuisine, the adoption of “namaste” as the Club’s official greeting for the year, and the release of a rare, iconic photograph of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru taken in 1946 in Bombay by Max Desfor of the AP.

This photograph, along with another by the 99-year-old Mr. Desfor, a Pulitzer-prize winning photograph from the Korean War, will be displayed on the Press Club’s Pulitzer Wall for viewing.

Mr. Belkind, who initially went to India in 1966 on assignment, went on to lead the AP in London and Tokyo and served in numerous other countries across the world as foreign correspondent.

Speaking at his inauguration gala, Ebrahim Rasool, South Africa’s Ambassador to the U.S. remarked that the Club’s tribute to various nations including his own, and the special honour given to former South African President and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, reflected the hope that under Mr. Belkind the Club would represent a global, inclusive vision and a space for media that was based on the principle of multiculturalism.

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