Commmorating Mahatma Gandhi’s 73rd Anniversary of Martyrdom

Rendering of Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram by children of Swar Sangam School of Music

Houston: On January 30, 2021, the Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston, EGMH, along with Arya Samaj Greater Houston, Unity of Houston, The Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center Houston, Rothko Chapel, Bahai’ Faith of Houston, and others virtually commemorated the 73rd anniversary of the martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi for Truth & Nonviolence as Shraddhanjali.

The program began with welcome remarks by Shri Atul B Kothari, Trustee and Founder of EGMH.  It was followed by an Invocation blessing the event, by Acharya Dr. Suryanarayan Nanda of Arya Samaj Greater Houston. Rev. Mindy Lawrence of Unity of Houston’s opening remarks emphasized the significance of this annual memorial tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.

Anusha Sathya was our charming Emcee for the rest of the evening. The event opened up with a beautiful rendering of De De Hame Azadi (Gandhi ji attained freedom for us) and Jodi Tor Daak Shune (Ekla Chalo by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore) by children of Swar Sangam School of Music, under the able of guidance of their Guru, Teacher, Smriti Srivastava.  Special thanks to Mahi Tomar for providing video editing services.

The evening became more poignant by messages on this solemn occasion from dignitaries, namely, Chief Guest, City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Guest of Honor, Consul General of India Shri Aseem Mahajan, Congressman Al Green, Special Guests, Chief Justice of State of Gujarat, India, Shri Vikram Nath, Fort Bend County Judge K P George, and Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis.

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.  The young presenters were Zahra Latheef, Khushi Kawedia, Rahul Sanklecha and Vir Sehgal.

Zahra Latheef delivering her speech “Change Begins with me”

The evening had three musical presentations to help spread peace and harmony. One was by ZIKR band of The Ismaili Jamatkhana Center of Houston, directed by Kamal Haji. ZIKR band presented a melodious rendition of Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua, “when the kindness rises to your lips”.

Unity of Houston Choir rendering Desiderata.

Unity of Houston Choir directed by Dr. David York, presented Desiderata, a wonderful production, that simply elevated the audience to just another level of peacefulness.

Dr. Manish K Wani, Trustee of Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston, EGMH, provided an overview of the status of the construction of Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston, slated to open in 2022.  Shri Ajit Paralkar, a Trustee of EGMH, gave the vote of thanks to everyone, and especially to the audience for attending the memorial tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and helping to foster peace and harmony.

Zikr band presented “Lab pe aati hai dua” by Allama Iqbal.

The evening reached a climax when children of Swar Sangam School of Music presented a melodious rendering of Gandhi’s favorite devotional song, Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, (Oh Lord, please bless positive thoughts to all, to make this a world a better place to live) – with the beautiful image of Shraddhanjali, a tribute from the heart, as illustrated above by Ms. Namita Sutaria, Trustee of EGMH. 

The rendering attempted to illustrate what peace and harmony feels like, when one dedicates oneself to Truth & Nonviolence, the everlasting legacy of Mahatma Gandhi.

New Delhi: The nation on Saturday remembered Mahatma Gandhi on his 73rd death anniversary with President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the country in paying homage to the Father of the Nation.

President Kovind, Vice President Naidu, Prime Minister Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, among others, also paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat in Delhi.

Paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, President Kovind said people should adhere to his ideals of peace, non-violence, simplicity, purity of means, and humility.

“On behalf of a grateful nation, my humble tributes to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi who embraced martyrdom this day. We should adhere to his ideals of peace, non-violence, simplicity, purity of means and humility. Let us resolve to follow his path of truth and love,” he tweeted.

Paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi, PM Modi said his ideals continue to motivate millions.

“Tributes to the great Bapu on his Punya Tithi. His ideals continue to motivate millions. On Martyrs’’ Day we recall the heroic sacrifices of all those great women and men who devoted themselves towards India’’s freedom and the well-being of every Indian,” he said in a tweet.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, saying his principles of truth and non-violence are still relevant.

“Truth, non-violence, patience, bravery and ‘’Satyagrah’’. These principles of Gandhiji that rendered ineffective bigger powers are relevant even today, through which any struggle for rights can be won,” he tweeted in Hindi.

In his tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on Twitter, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi shared a quote of the Father of the Nation – “Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self-sustained”.