• Lalubhai Parekh – A Tribute

     Having been in the UK for over fifty years I naturally had the opportunity and time to attend innumerable community meetings in places like India House, Nehru Centre etc. Lalubhai used to be present at many of the meetings in which I used to participate, gradually we became friends and I came to know him rather well. I found him unassuming, knowledgeable and very friendly. He was always calm and in a positive frame of mind whether talking about the past, present or future for that matter. Lalubhai was involved with and in charge of managing a number of community organisations including; the overseas friends of the BJP and the Federation of Gujarati Organisations. He was kind enough to invite me to some of their special meetings to attend and on occasion to address. I found his gentle, refined, humble and inclusive approach in relation to people very remarkable. He had spent many years in Tanzania before arriving in the UK and I recall that while talking about Julius Nyerere, the late President, he seemed to look back with delight upon his time there as well his interactions with President Nyerere in the course of his legal work. I found Lalubhai’s thoughts about his African experience immensely positive, refined and cultured.   I often felt that he felt proud of his Tanzanian experience and appreciated everything from the beautiful landscapes to the people and its leadership. I felt that Lalubhai was a well-liked community leader who rose above partisan politics and in doing so was able to bring together different divisive groups and bring out the best in them, wherever he found himself.  In short he was a born leader and a role model for the Indian Diaspora, always encouraging us to keep our feet on the grass and lead a life that meant keeping our heads high no matter where we were. Above all he was my friend who was well loved and will be well missed by anyone who was lucky enough to know him. I for one shall treasure the memories of all the conversations and time I spent with a man who had so much more to give.  

  • Krishna Menon's 125 Birth anniversary celebrated in London

     London, The 125th  birth anniversary of V K Krishna Menon, former defence minister of India, was celebrated in London  with speakers recalling his contributions to India's independence, particularly "fighting the Lion in its own den." In his opening address, Dr Cyriac Maprayil, Director of the V K Krishna Menon Institute, said "people of Indian origin and friends of India try to remind themselves of the sacrifices made by leaders like Gandhiji, Sardar Patel, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Subash Chandra Bose and Dr B R Ambedkar but "we forget the indispensable and crucial role played by Krishna Menon on the final stage of India's independence movement.".Dr Maprayil said Menon made lasting and memorable contributions. Menon came to London to study. After his studies he stayed on in London. He entered local politics and was in 1934 elected as a borough councillor in the London Borough of St Pancaras. He worked selflessly and tirelessly for the welfare of those in the borough. He became chairman of the library committee in 1945 and set up a travelling library to take books to the residents who could not find time to travel to the library. Later he set up paperback publications to make books available for students at affordable price. Dr Maprayil said though Menon was living in London he did not forget his people back in India. "S

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