The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha hosted a celebration of Indian-American culture at the historic Texas State Capitol in Austin earlier this month. The celebration was sponsored by State Representative Matt Rinaldi of House District 115, who represents a BAPS temple in Irving, Tex.
On the morning of Feb. 1, a group of BAPS representatives were recognized during the 85th Legislative regular session, where a resolution commemorating this inaugural event was read. The resolution also noted the myriad of contributions by Indian-Americans to the Lone Star State and lauded BAPS’ commitment to community service in Texas and across the nation, a BAPS press release said.
Throughout the day BAPS members from across Texas met with their respective state representatives and senators to share the background on the Hindu faith and on the Indian-American community’s history and growth.
“This event is not only a chance for Indian-Americans to learn about government, but also for their government to learn about Indian culture and to provide a learning experience for senators and representatives,” the press release quoted Rep. Rinaldi as saying.
Throughout the celebration, speakers shared their thoughts on the diverse contributions of Indian-Americans to the economic and cultural fabric of Texas. “We value what BAPS has done for our community, from its Walkathon to its Health Fair…BAPS works tirelessly to make Irving, Texas and our district a better place,” Rep. Rinaldi continued.
“I am honored to be here this evening. I know firsthand from my work and relationship with BAPS about what a great job it does and how it impacts thousands of lives across the state,” Chris Wallace, president of the Texas Association of Business said. His remarks highlighted the importance of nurturing and advancing the relationship between the growing population of over 275,000 Indian-Americans in Texas and the state government, the press release noted.
The program also touched on the role of the BAPS temples. “Inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, places of worship, such as the beautiful, hand-carved stone mandir in Stafford, Texas, reflects the diverse culture of our state and demonstrates that the contributions of the Indian-American diaspora go beyond simply the economic realm,” said Ketan Inamdar of Missouri City, Tex.
The current spiritual leader, Mahant Swami Maharaj, as always inspired the Indian- American community to celebrate our shared culture and develop a sense of identity and pride in our heritage, he said.