Gujarat Samachar's golden jubilee celebration included a “Meet and Greet” event, which took place on March 8, 2023, at the Dhamecha Lohana Centre. Amish Tripathi and Shri Govindbhai Dholakia were honoured and their books were unveiled at the event.
Shri Govindbhai Dholakia, a diamond baron and philanthropist from India, was honoured and his book, "Diamond Are Forever, So Are Morals: An Autobiography of Govind Dholakia" was unveiled.
Shri Amish Tripathi, Director of Nehru Centre London and Minister of Education and Culture at HCI (High Commission of India in the UK), known for his bestsellers the Shiva Trilogy and the Ram Chandra series, was honoured and his latest book "War of Lanka" was launched. Both of them have been spreading the ideologies of Sanatan Dharma globally by keeping Indian morals and values on top.
Smita Joshi was the master of the ceremony. Many dignitaries and community members were present during the book launch; among them were Lord Dolar Popat, Lady Sandhya Popat, Subhash Thakrar, Dhirubhai Gadhvi - Gujarat Cultural Society, Briton, Manubhai Makwana -(Hindu Council Brent), Mahendrabhai Pattni - (Hindu Council Brent), Cllr Bhagwanjibhai Chauhan -(Shree Sorathia Prajapati Community Hounslow), Vinodbhai Thakrar - Trustee, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Kishorbhai Pattni - Parajiya Pattani Samaj, Girishbhai Mashru - Shree Jalaram Jyot Mandir, Pratibhaben Lakhani –VYO, Kanteshbhai Popat – VYO, Kamleshbhai D Patel - Shree Baavis Gam Patidar Samaj, Jayendra Patel & Harshad Patel - (Shree Sattavis gam Patidar Samaj), Jagdishbhai P Patel - (Federation of Patidar association), Chandresh Patel - (BAPS, Shayona), Dineshbhai Sonchhatra - (President, Lohana Community North London), Deepakbhai Jatania - (Trustee, Lohana Community North London), KalpanaYogeshbhai R Patel (Treasurer, Anand overseas brotherhood), Rashmika T Patel (Secretary, Anand overseas brotherhood), Sonal Patel (Social Secretary, Anand overseas brotherhood), Ntin Mehta (Young Indian Vegetarians Society), Dilipbhai Mithani (Navnat Vanik Association, UK), Meenaben Jasani (Lohana Community North London), Prafula Chotai (Lohana Community North London- Ladies group), Nandakumar - Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Varsha Bavishi (Harrow women's), Jaswantbhai Nakar, Krishnaben Pujara (Enfield-Saheli), Kishan Rali, Dipikaben Desai , Kaushikbhai Desai- (Food For Life Vrindavan), Jayendra Patel (Shree sattavis patidar samaj), Mr Manjit Khinda (Sikh community), Harpreet Singh (Panjabi language awareness board UK), Cllr Mina Parmar, Vinodbhai Kapashi OBE (Institute Of Jainology), Niraj Sutaria (Mahavir Foundation), Mr Darshan Nagi (Shree Saibaba Temple)
The event was flagged off with a spiritual prayer by Nandakumarji. Talented artists, including Pritee Varsani and Kalpesh Patel (KZ Garba Group), joined the event.
Lord Dolar Popat presented Govindbhai Dholakia and Amish Tripathi with mementoes. Lord Dolar Popat and Amish Tripathi received diamond-made Indian flag brooches from Govindbhai.
During the opening ceremony of the event, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, CB Patel, said, "I wanted to show our Asian population what a genuine diamond Govindbhai is. He and his family are adept at making money, using it and investing it."
He added, "I read Govindbhai’s book under the influence of Lord Bhikhu Parekh and I ended up reading it till 2 a.m. That book contains important principles on how to live successfully and happily for everyone."
Govindbhai’s book is based on three main principles
Speaking about how the book started, co-author Kamlesh Yagnik said, "We all know the autobiographies written by APJ Abdul Kalam, such as Wings of Fire, and we know an individual who actually worked with APJ Abdul Kalam, just like Ram and Hanuman. He worked for almost 33 years. In fact, today I am acting as his proxy. In fact, he should have been here today to talk about this book. I am not competent enough to talk about this book. He is a scientist, just like APJ Abdul Kalam, and he is none other than Arun Tiwari. He is the co-author of Wings of Fire. He wrote this book as well."
Talking about the book "Diamonds Are Forever, So Are Morals" Yagnik said, "This is not just a book, that tells us something to do or a book like a conventional autobiography, where, you know, things are put in a very different fashion. The narratives that are in the book definitely need to be read in order to understand. It is cited mainly on the principles on which this gentleman Dholakia built his empire, a person who has only studied up to class seven."
He continued, "The three principles of the book, which are mentioned, are: number one, whatever you do, and he had umpteen opportunities to not do things in an honest manner. But despite everything, you know, he said that I would stick to my principles from a very early age. So honesty is the first principle in life we must maintain. Second, do you believe there is something you are aware of that governs all of us? And that it is an unseen force. We call it fate; we call it God; we may call it by any name that exists, and those blessings, you know, we must always acquire. That is the second principle in his life. Third and the most important profound statement, he said “Those who cannot see God
in their fellow beings they can neither serve the Nation nor the God.” This is a statement, you know, which he clearly indicates not only his own family, he talks about the extended family, which is going beyond not only his employees, he has almost 7000 employees. He goes beyond you know, like his suppliers, his buyers, every one, his community is his state, his country.”
Book is a beacon for those who are frustrated in life
While introducing Govindbhai's book "Diamond for Ever, Show Are Moral", Managing Editor of Gujarat Samachar, Kokilaben Patel said, "I have read this book of Shri Govindkaka. His life story is not only worth understanding but also highly inspiring for all of us. He writes that a problem leads to a solution and ultimately to success. The life story of this farmer who was brought up on a farm in a small hamlet called Dudhala of Saurashtra region’s Amreli district is interesting. This book is a beacon for those who are frustrated with life and a must-read for everyone. The son of a common farmer came to Surat from Dudhala in 1964 and worked continuously for 14 hours and started grinding diamonds. In this book, his struggle in Surat is presented.”
She says, “He talked about education without culture, cultivation without diligence and life without understanding are useless. Don't listen too much to intellect, intellect should be used only to the extent of discretion. Whatever decision you take in life should be taken from the heart. If you want to get respect, you have to respect others first. One has to work hard to maintain good health. He who works hard is able to gain inner joy. Never underestimate staff members. They should be paid according to their skills. Even a driver should be given a substantial salary. Employees are the members of the family. If you want to get ahead of competitors in business you need to work faster and harder.”
“This leading resident of Surat is a staunch Hinduist. Bhagavatacharya Dongreji is his spiritual guru. He named his company Surat Shree Ramkrishna (SRK) Export Pvt. Ltd. Explaining the purpose behind that name, Govindakaka says that Sri means Lakshmiji and Rama-Krishna means Lord Sri Rama and Lord Sri Krishna. In his family Harikrishna Export is his Nephew’s firm, Balakrishna Export belongs to his cousin and Sri Krishna Export belongs to his brother-in-law. Two years ago, each employee was gifted a new car from his nephew's Harikrishna Export,” she added.
Govindbhai is a philanthropist
Lord Dolar Popat said, "I'm extremely pleased just by reading the book. Can you imagine a farmer from a village travelling to Surat in search of work, which led to creating a compelling story? So going back, thank you for what you do. He has a quote in which he tells us that God is great, and he is quite right that people, who get the blessings of God, can do good work. Apart from being a good businessman, Govindbhai is a philanthropist. And you know that behind every successful man, there is a woman, and behind this successful man is our Champaben."
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Lord Popat said, "What a success for the UK. There is still a lot to be done for women to enable them to accomplish more. But obviously, we worry about talking about women across the world who go through real suffering. Actually, when I was having a conversation with a senior member of the Indian cabinet two weeks ago, he mentioned that your country and India have comparable GDPs. I responded by pointing out that India's population is only 5% of ours. You are 20 times bigger than us. And we are at par because our women make amazing contributions to our economy. 84% of women in the UK go to work. It is something to be proud of."
Q&A with Loveena Tandon
In the Morals Unwrapped part of the event, there was a Q & A session with Loveena Tandon, Foreign Correspondent - India Today Group (Aaj Tak & India Today).
Speaking about how one comes to have self-confidence and values, Govindbhai Dholakia said, "I think it comes to us at birth. The environment in which we live can occasionally have an impact on it. The second factor is the time of day that you are in, and the third is the type of work you conduct. Time and work in our lives have an impact on our value and sense of self."
Talking about the values for the children, Govindbhai said, "Happiness is life. I always tell my family's young members to never be attached to materialistic things; they can make your life easy, but they do not make your life happy. What makes your life is family. And I have never given any advice to young children, and whenever I go out, I take 2 to 3 youngsters with me, and I listen to them."
Talking about his early life situation and believing in himself, Amish Tripathi said, "During 2010, my first book, "The Immortals of Meluha," was rejected by every publication, so I decided to publish it myself. Thanks to God, it did well. Speaking of self-belief, every coin has two faces, one of which is foolishness and the other of which is self-belief. If I toss a coin, maybe I'll know whether it is self-belief or foolishness. Because of what you did, if you succeed, people will credit you with faith; if you fail, they will criticise you for being foolish. You can never flip the coin if you consider the reward. If you focus on the job rather than the money, you can succeed."
Speaking about the core values that are still relevant in his interpretation of mythological stories, he said, "Lord Ram was called as maryada puroshattam and if do the English interpretation, they call it the ideal man. That term is not fully interpreted. Because the translation of purshottam is the ideal man and if you add the word maryada it would become an ideal man who follows the rules. And this was how Shree Ram was—he walked in the path of rules. And if someone follows that route, they are beneficial to society and rise to become its leader. Yet if they choose that course, they will confront multiple personal issues. So in my interpretation, you can learn about where the problems they face."
Talking about the east vs west debate on female equality, he said, "Those who believe in equality between men and women are actually being truly Indian. We are not being westernized in any way. Our oldest scriptures, the Rigveda hymns, were written by Rishi, which is equivalent, so in addition to prophets and messiahs, there are hymns written by women Rishis in the Rigveda as well. There was a university named Vallabh University, which was destroyed by the invaders but was actually founded by women. There was a quote by Shree Ram that said any male, female, or transgender person, as well as any living plant or animal, can come to me. You are all equal to me. He never differentiated between men, women, and transgender people. This is our culture."
The vote of thanks was given by Group Editor Mahesh Liloriya.
(photo credit: Raj D Bakrania, PrMediapix)