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WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE A PART OF SECOND INDIA ASEAN CAR RALLY?

 By T K Malhotra, President

Waiting for this mega event to happen again, there are not only a large number of Car rally enthusiasts but also the people of northern Eastern States and ASEAN countries.

It all started at Asean India Summit Meeting in Bali, when the former Prime Minister of India Atal Behari Vajpayee mooted an idea of a Motorcar Rally to promote people to people contact and to explore areas of mutual cooperation amongst all Asean countries.

Automobile Association of Upper India (AAUI) was the first to be contacted in Septemenr 2003 by Mrs. Nengcha Lhouvum, Joint Secretaty, Ministry of External Affairs asking for guidance and assistance to organize the Rally. After exchange of many messages between Mrs. Nengcha Lhouvum, Joint Secretaty, Ministry of External Affairs and the AAUI, the name of the Federation of Motor Sports Club of India (FMSCI) was finally recommended by the AAUI. Immediately thereafter, a meeting was arranged in the Ministry of External Affairs which was attended by the Presidents of AAUI and FMSCI, Chennai along with Mr. Rajat Majumdar, Vice President & Chairman, Rally Commission, FMSCI. As the proposed event had the potential to catalyse India-ASEAN Trade and Commerce relations, it was proposed to the Ministry of External Affairs to invite participation of the Confederation of Indian Industry to play an important role of strategic partnership and to oversee rally related affairs. The National Advisory Committee thereafter was set-up under the Chairmanship of Mr. Sunil Munjal, President of CII.

The objective of the Rally was to forget new linkages with the ASEAN countries and also to spread the message of development, friendship, harmony and peace.

Your President was invited to join the National Advisory Committee. Besides giving a consultative support, the AAUI had a crucial role to play in providing custom documents to export and reimport each participating vehicle. It was an enormous task to prepare the documents for participating vehicle which required minute physical check of participating vehicles and verification of the related documents.

An inaugural flag-off by the Prime Minister took place in Guwahati at Nehru Stadium on November 22nd, 2004. Finally, the Rally was flagged-off the following day at 6 a.m. by the Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi, His Excellency the Governor of Assam assisted by your President. Thousands of people had collected on Rally route to cheer the participants. Over 150 participants roared into an 8000 Km long-drive