Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala has said that Lord Krishna became popular as “Dwarkadhish” only after becoming a part of Gujarat.
He was speaking at a programme by the Vishwa Gujarati Samaj (VGS) to felicitate prominent Gujarati community personalities on Sunday.
“The Gujarati community has always been special with a rich tradition and past right from the times of mythology. Krishna might be known as Krishna or Kanhaiya but he received the title of Dwarkadhish only after he came here, became a part of Gujarat and became a Gujarati,” said Rupala.
Rupala felicitated historian Dr Rizwan Qadri with the ‘Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vishwa Pratibha Award’ and Rs 2.50 lakh in cash for his research work on the ironman of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. “The saints of Swaminarayan sect in Maninagar (Ahmedabad) inspiring Dr Qadri to do research on the Sardar and thereafter Dr Qadri studying and researching is a very historic and proud Gujarati moment. Exploring Sardar Patel’s magnanimous personality is like exploring the ocean,” added Rupala.
Besides Dr Qadri, the VGS also felicitated the Surat-based diamond firm owner and Padma Shri awardee Mathurbhai Savani with the ‘Shri Kanjibhai Desai Gujarat Pratibha Award’ along with prize money of Rs 1 lakh.
Besides, another awardee was the Delhi Gujarat Samaj, the Delhi chapter of VGS, which was recognised as an awardee for ‘Sreshth Gujarati Samaj Award’ and was awarded Rs 1 lakh for it’s contribution in 125 years.
“Having a history of 125 years in itself is a thing of honour for the Delhi Gujarati Samaj. I am glad that this institution has been maintaining the decorum of the Gujarati culture in the national capital for all these years,” he said.
Other awardees were cardiologist Dr R.K. Patel, who is also the honorary director at UN Mehta Institute of Cardiology. Patel was awarded for his special contribution in the Covid-19 situation duties.
Speaking about Dr R.K. Patel’s contribution in Gujarat, Rupala said: “If there is any hospital which can compete against corporate hospitals, then that is the Ahmedabad Civil hospital. It is only due to Dr Patel and a few others’ efforts that the hospital is now considered to be having highest of healthcare standards.”
Talking about the Gujarati culture and heritage, Rupala said: “The ancient heritage, right since the time of Narsinh Mehta continued to bring glory to the state and was sustained in the prevailing times by Dayanand Saraswati Maharaj,” he said.
On the Swaminarayan sect, he said: “If any institution which can be named to bring glory to the temple structure in the world, then that is the present Swaminarayan sect and the efforts of Pramukh Swamiji Maharaj.”
The minister also spoke about political leadership from Gujarat. “When you talk about the freedom struggle, then also it were the Gujaratis at the forefront. The duo of Gandhi and Sardar led the country towards freedom. Thereafter, Gujarat was led by Dr Jivraj Mehta in this journey of growth and today that journey has led us to a point where the state is now known as the growth engine of India,” Rupala said.
“On the business front, Gujaratis are known to be the leaders. The Surat diamond business is dominating in the world. Eighty per cent of global diamond business is controlled by Surat. Morbi is leading the world in clock manufacturing and ceramic industry. The ceramic of Morbi is now competing against China,” Rupala said.
Former president of VGS, Gujarat High Court advocate Krishnakant Vakhariya, was also felicitated for his contribution in leading VGS for nearly three decades.
After receiving the award and the prize money, Dr Qadri announced that the entire prize money of Rs 2.5 lakh will be utilised in further research work on Sardar. This was supported by Savani through his prize money of Rs one lakh.
“It is a thing of pride for me that I am honored for a work which is associated with the Sardar Saheb. But it is also a pity that our rich heritage and culture is being wasted and found in flea markets. An unknown painter called Chagan Jadhav painted the Dandi March, which I found in the Sunday flea market in Ahmedabad. Swami Maharajji inspired me to document this and the ‘Unseen Drawings of Dandi March’ was published. The prime minister Narendra Modi saw this publication which inspired the Aazadi ka Amrit mahotsav,” said Dr Qadri.
The VGS has been felicitating prominent Gujarati personalities every year since the past 17 years, except for last year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to president C.K. Patel.
“As an organisation we will be now moving towards reaching out to rural population and farmers in the coming days so as to carry out more work that needs to be done. We want to make a big movement,” said C.K. Patel.