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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Celebrating 50 years of India Association in Dallas

http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2012/03/celebrating-50-years-of-india.html

Sunday, February 4, 2012 - The India Association of North Texas initiated celebration of 50 years of its glorious existence by inviting community leaders for a dinner gathering at the India Associations new building at 701 N. Central Expressway in Richardson, TX 75080.


Thanks to the Board of Trustees, Directors and volunteers for making this event possible. It was great to connect with every one.

We, the Indian Americans are a thriving community here in Dallas area and have earned a respectable place in the society and I rejoiced this celebration along with my fellow Indians. One of the accomplishments is to have our own building, thanks to the leadership and Jack Godhwani for making this happen.

This event made me appreciate those who have created a beautiful legacy for us. It reminded me of a celebration we had organized for seniors in the 90’s. We invited the pioneers for dinner and have them share their stories. We also did a radio talk show in 1997 where they shared their stories about what Dallas was like in the early 60’s. Each one of us have added something significant to Dallas Desi living and some day, I hope to write the history of it with pictures and all. I have not seen the book, but someone at UT Austin wrote a book on history of Indian Americans in Texas and I have provided him the information I had available to me, I believe he has written a note about me as well.

Three Indians made it to America before our independence and have made Dallas their home; Late Amir Khan around 1910, Mr. Pallana in 1946 (to the US, I need to check how long he was in Dallas) and one of my Jewish Indian Friends came to the US in 1932, and the late Ike Sekhon in 1957. In the early sixties about ten families made it to Dallas – Dr. Prabhakar and Asha Ghate, Dr. Kapadia, Saboo, and a few others (I have to dig into my Radio Shows and notes to list them all). Most of them are all here.
Please remember the critical period of the history at that time – Martin Luther King’s legacy had not come in to effect yet – the non-whites had to sit in the back of the bus and had to drink water from a separate fountain. One of these days, I will share what it was like for them then.

President of India Late Sri Sarvapalli Radha Krishnan, Saint Mother Teresa, former Prime Minister VP Singh, Laloo Prasad, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Dilip Kumar, Late Dev Anand and other legends have graced our city as well…
There are a lot of firsts. Just to recall on the food side, India Coffee House was the first Indian Restaurant on Mockingbird lane, owned by Madan Goyal, then came Pradeep Sharma (India Palace), Veer Singh and Nick Kumar with Kebab n Curry in 1983, that popularized Indian cuisines in the Metroplex. Right along came Saheb’s restaurant on Park Lane, which uplifted the Indian food to fine dining. There is Dilip Shah of Travel King, one of the first travel agents in the area, then Mr. Sharma, who had a grocery story on Preston Road and Mr. Pallana who had a store in Oak Lawn and Ranajani Pallana who popularized Yoga in Dallas.

Thanks to Dilip Shah for planting the seeds of Anand Bazar some 20 years ago, and Akram Syed for initiating the Gandhi Walk and ...... for commencing India Nite? I can't believe, I don't know it. Thanks to Prasad Thotakura and Taiyab Kundwala for working on the Gandhi Statue in Dallas The list of good things is endless! Believe me, when I get a chance, I will write about each one of our leaders in North Texas who have contributed significantly towards the growth of our community, whether they are Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Sikh, Christian or others, they have done it all together. This is just an initial note in between my work and more will be written for the event.
I request India Association to consider organizing a dinner event to appreciate the pioneers of Dallas, On occasion of the 50th anniversary of India Association’s celebration around Middle of June, and I will be happy to assist or coordinate the event.

Mike Ghouse,
A life member of India Association
Associate Member of India Association as President of Foundation for Pluralism
Moderator of
DallasIndians@yahoogroups.com
http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer committed to building a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other.
www.MikeGhouse.net

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