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Indian Americans join Consul General in paying tribute to Iron Man Sardar Patel

Consul General of India in Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray seen speaking on the occasion of the 42nd Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on Oct. 31. 2014 at the Indian Consulate Office in Houston. Photo credit: CG Facebook.

Consul General of India in Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray seen speaking on the occasion of the 42nd Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on Oct. 31. 2014 at the Indian Consulate Office in Houston. Photo credit: CG Facebook.

By Shobana Muratee
HOUSTON (Oct. 31, 2017) – Indian Americans gathered at the Indian Consulate Office here on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 to celebrate the 142 Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel by discussing his role in shaping post independent India as its first Deputy Prime Minister. Patel was born on October 31, 1875 in Nadiad, a small village in Gujarat. He died on December 15, 1950.
A couple of select video clips on the Vallabhbhai Patel were screened before introducing the guest speakers; Dr. Kavita Vachaknavee, Director, DAV Sanskriti School, Sunanda Vashisht CEO – ‎MyIndMakers Inc and Ramesh Shah, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award recipient 2017 and global coordinator for Ekal Vidyalaya who spoke on the various facets of the Vallabhbhai Patel, illustrating why he was referred to as the ‘Iron Man.’
In his opening remarks, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray quoted Winston Churchil who said that if United Kingdom left India it would be broken into what he called as Hindustan, Pakistan and Princestan. Further, the ‘Hindu Congress’ would never be able to govern India with their lack of statesmanship and experience. “And we have proven him wrong”, said Dr. Ray, “and large of that was possible because of Sardar Patel.” Dr. Ray spoke of Sardar Patel’s moral ethics, his risk-taking ability especially in handling the princely states and above all his statesmanship, qualities that inspired him personally.
Dr. Vachaknavee, (who spoke in Hindi), elaborated on Patel’s challenges to his vision of a unified India. Despite winning 5 times to the position of prime minister ship, he was asked to withdraw due to Nehru’s demand to be the first Prime Minister of India she said. Gujarat, is never known to have Naxalites, Dr. Vachaknavee, said because of Sardar Patel whose focuses for the state was on education, she said.

A section of the audience.

A section of the audience.

University of Houston students who attended the event seen with Dr. Anupam Ray

University of Houston students who attended the event seen with Dr. Anupam Ray

Sunanda Vashisht, gave a very informative talk on Patel and his odyssey in preserving India from ‘Kashmir to Kanyakumari’. Sardar Patel truly defined the geography of India by integrating the 152 states particularly the Princely states. She pointed out a few traps that commentators should avoid: Pitting Patel against his contemporaries, and to associate him to one party, because he was an institution by himself, she said.
Ramesh Shah touched on what we can do to preserve Patel’s legacy which is to keep everyone together in a peaceful manner.

COMM_Vallbhai Patel event_Speaker KavitaOn the birth anniversary of Patel, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off ‘run for unity’ to commemorate National Integration Day in India. Currently, a 597 ft. Statue of Unity is a monument dedicated to the visionary leader, Sardar Vallabhbhai and is under construction in the Indian state of Gujarat.


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