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CM Of Maharashtra Pays Homage To Gandhi At The King Center

August 2005
CM Of Maharashtra Pays Homage To Gandhi At The King Center

While in town as one of the chief guests for the Brihan Maharashtra Mandal (BMM) National Convention, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Vilasrao Deshmukh took time to pay homage to the Mahatma. On Thursday, June 30th, despite a heavy schedule of appointments, including a meeting with Home Depot's Arthur Blank and with senior executives of Microsoft, the Chief Minister managed to visit the Gandhi statue housed at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., National Historic site.

The entourage of the CM arrived in three black stretch limousines and promptly hurried to the statue. After mingling with the Gandhi Foundation USA's core group of members, the proceedings began with a candle-lighting and prayer by the CM and his wife, Mrs. Deshmukh. A bouquet of flowers were presented by Dr. Sujata Reddy and Mrs Raj Razdan, and the Gandhi Foundation USA plaques were presented by Anthony Thaliath, Subash Razdan, and the other core group of members and directors

Shri Deshmukh commented on this visit being very important because he was pleasantly amazed to find a Gandhi statue on U.S. Federal property and to learn how strongly Gandhiji's influence on Dr. King continues to be dominantly displayed even at a national monument. Their co-existence speaks volumes of the mainstream diversity in Atlanta. He also spoke of the relevance of Gandhi, the "Father of our Nation" continues to be India's number one ambassador even today.

Hon. Skand Tayal spoke next about his transfer to Uzbekistan, where he will serve as the Indian Ambassador. He said he would miss many of his friends in Atlanta who had actively managed good relations with the diplomatic office. He said he was proud of the continued achievements of the Gandhi Foundation.

An highlight of the evening was the release of the preview copies of Dr. Uma Majumdar's book, Gandhi's Pilgrimage of Faith: From Darkness to Light. Dr. Majmudar, a Gandhian scholar who is also an active member of the Gandhi Foundation, presented an autographed copy each to the Minister and the Consul General.

The group took the time to walk through the remaining areas of the King Center and discussed the greatness of Dr. King and the non-violent revolt he fought in the difficult times of racism and segregation in America.

By Viren Mayani

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