Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston, EGMH, commemorated 76th
martyrdom anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi for truth and nonviolence as Shraddhanjali
, at its brand-new facilities by paying a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on Saturday, February 3, 2024. It was a full house with standing room only.
Mahatma Gandhi said “I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.” He was never afraid of death.
Currently, the world is encountering several challenges including intolerance, impatience, and terrorism. It is essential to follow the ideas and principles of Mahatma Gandhi, especially truth and non-violence, not only to achieve world peace and prosperity, but achieve the same within one’s own heart.
Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the universal values of truth, nonviolence, love, and service. It is the first of its kind museum in the Americas dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi to preserve and promote his ever-lasting legacy of nonviolent conflict resolution.
The appreciative audience at the Shraddhanjali event
The Shraddhanjali program started at 3:00 pm with the Universal Prayer and a gracious welcome by EGMH board of Trustee member, Manish Wani.
Mrs. Tina Khatri was a brilliant emcee as she guided the audience through the auspicious program.
Ms. Raji Krishnamurthy and her daughter Yamini started the program with a beautiful rendition of the bhajan “Vaishnav Jan to,” Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite bhajan, spiritual song, written in the 15th century by Gujarati poet Narsinh Mehta.
Next, on behalf of Congressman Al Green’s office, Globe Beavers presented a Certificate of Recognition to the Trustees of EGMH.
DAV Sanskriti, DAVSS, children performing medley of songs
DAV Sanskriti School of Houston or DAVSS presented a medley of dances to the tune of several songs about Mahatma Gandhi such as Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram and De di Hame Azadi bina Khadag bina Dhal. DAVSS is operated by Arya Samaj of Greater Houston.
Fort Bend County Judge KP George, a supporter of the museum since inception, addressed the crowd and advised how the values and principles of Mahatma Gandhi are more relevant today than ever. On behalf of Fort Bend Conty, Judge KP George presented a Proclamation to EGMH Co-founder, Mr. Atul Kothari.
On behalf of Fort Bend County, Judge KP George presented
a Proclamation to EGMH Co-founder & Trustee, Mr. Atul Kothari
Ishaan Jha from Ann Sullivan Elementary School, the 2nd place winner of the annual Mahatma Gandhi Week speech contest in the 10 years and younger category, delighted the audience with his winning speech, “Do video games lead to violence.”
On behalf of the Consul General of India’s office, Sandeep Choudhary, Consul, addressed the audience with his thoughtful speech on the significance of the martyrdom day and of Gandhi’s values and principles.
Representative Suleman Lalani, M.D., from House District 76 in Fort Bend County, Texas presented to EGMH the actual flag that was hoisted over the Texas Capitol on October 2, 2023, and spoke about Gandhi’s message of “Be the change you wish to see.”
Co-founder & Trustee Dr. Manish Wani accepting
Texas flag from Representative Dr. Suleiman Lalani
The talented T. Raja Banga, Director of the Tagore Society of Houston, and their musical band presented a beautiful rendition of Vedic Chant Sangachadhwam, and Amar Mukti. Partha Chatterjee, Founding Patron of Durgabari Houston presented Rabindranath Tagore’s poem “Where the mind is without fear” followed by “Ekla Chalo Re,” presented by the group. Debleena Banga presented a letter from Gandhi ji to Tagore.
Tagore Society Musical Band
Keynote Speaker, Rev. Michael Gott, from Unity Houston, delighted the audience with his inspiring speech regarding Gandhi’s relevance in today’s society and also displayed his amazing vocal talent.
Keynote speaker Rev Michael Gott, from Unity Houston
Next, talented students from Sreepadam Performing Arts and Cultural Education including Supriya Ramanatham, Tarini Kumar, and Sharanya Dutta, performed 2 beautiful Bharatanatyam dances titled “Hari Hari”, a bhajan in praise of Lord Vishnu and “Charishnu” which literally means the desire to move.
Sreepadam Performing Arts and Cultural Education dancers
Ramya Elangovan, winner in the 11 years and older category of Mahatma Gandhi Week speech contest, presented her compelling speech on the “Role of Social Media in promoting peace.”
Ramya Elangovan, presenting her winning speech
Dr. Manish Wani, Co-Founder and a member of Board of Trustees of EGMH, gave an informative update on the Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston which opened its doors to the public on August 15th, 2023. Since then, many community programs and events have been sponsored
by the museum. He also announced the upcoming Wisdom of Gandhi classes, a 4-week free event discussing the book by Eknath Easwaran, “Gandhi the Man.”
The program concluded with a vote of thanks by Board of Trustee member Mr. G.V. Krishnan.
A short reception followed with tea and snacks and then docents led group tours of the galleries of the Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston.