Houston, February 1
Rich floral tributes were paid to Mahatma Gandhi in the US on his 73rd death anniversary with India’s mission in Houston live streaming a virtual narration of “Mahatma Gandhi’s Tryst with Peace”.
Consul General of India in Houston Aseem Mahajan along with members of Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston (EGMH) paid floral tributes to Gandhi at Hermann Park on Saturday during an event organised by EGMH along with Arya Samaj Greater Houston, Unity Church of Houston, Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center Houston, Rothko Chapel, Bahai’s of Houston.
The virtual narration of “Mahatma Gandhi’s Tryst with Peace” by Dr Shobhana Radhakrishna was live-streamed by Consul General of India in Houston.
At the virtual “Shraddhanjali – A Memorial Service” commemorating the 73rd anniversary of Gandhi’s martyrdom for truth and non-violence, rich tributes were paid by city officials, Congressmen, Indian-Americans and local Houstonians who adhere to his ideals of peace, non-violence and humility.
The programme began with welcome remarks by Atul B Kothari, Trustee and Founder of EGMH, followed by an invocation blessing event by Acharya Dr Suryanarayan Nanda of Arya Samaj Greater Houston.
Reverend Mindy Lawrence of Unity Church of Houston’s opening remarks emphasised the significance of this annual memorial tribute to Gandhi.
Kothari said that truth and nonviolence are the keywords that need to be practised for peace in the world to settle conflicts.
Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner, who was the chief guest at the event, said: “I encourage everyone to remember his teaching of peaceful protests and his words, “You must be the change you want to see in the world”, these words have guided millions of people around the globe and continue to resonate”.
Consul General of India Mahajan, who was the guest of honour, said: “Mahatma Gandhi inspired people all over the world, including Martin Luther King Jr, who drew heavily on Gandhian principles and teachings of nonviolence in a civil rights movement.
Quoting King, he said: “If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. He lived, thought and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving towards a world of peace and harmony. We may ignore him at our risk”.
“As we combat the current pandemic together, we are reminded of Gandhi’s message of service to humanity. He said I’m endeavouring to see God through the service of humanity. For I know that God is neither in heaven, nor down below, but in everyone. The Eternal Gandhi museum is an initiative of the Indo-American community to spread the universal message and teachings of Gandhiji,” he said.
The event also included special guests, Congressman Al Green, KP George, Fort Bend County Judge, Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court Vikram Nath and Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, who talked about the relevance of Gandhi even in this age and his ideals that continue to motivate millions of people.
Devotional songs like “De De Hame Azadi”, “Ekla Chalo”, “Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua” and “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram” were performed. Unity of Houston Choir directed by Dr David York presented “Desiderata”.
The audience got a glimpse of what the future may hold for the next generation, from the winners of Mahatma Gandhi Week 2020 contests for Speech and I-Tribute (multimedia). They shared their thoughts on a range of issues, such as Love Never Claims; It ever gives; Change begins with me; LEED and Simple Living and Messages and Symbols of Peace.
EGMH is an initiative to preserve and continue the legacy of Gandhi. Located in Houston, it is the first-ever museum dedicated to peace in the Americas. Its mission is to reinforce the universal values of truth, peace, non-violence, love and service. PTI