On February 6, 2019, BAPS hosted a celebration of Indian American Culture at the historic Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas. The day began with BAPS members from across the state of Texas coming to Austin to meet with members of State Legislatures. The day ended with an evening program celebrating Indian American culture in Texas.
The celebration was kicked off by the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott who spent time meeting with members of BAPS and recognized their many years of community service and contributions of the Indian American community across Texas. In his remarks, Governor Abbott thanked BAPS and its volunteers for supporting their communities throughout Texas, and for participating in efforts that enrich communities throughout the state. A resolution recognizing BAPS and its contribution in Texas was read during the 86th Legislative Regular Session. BAPS members also had the opportunity to meet with David Whitley, Texas Secretary of State, as well as Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
Throughout the day’s events, over 50 Texas State Representatives and Senators, along with their respective staff, were visited by members from BAPS to share various community activities and the Hindu-American community’s traditions and beliefs in the great State of Texas.
The evening’s event highlighted the various contributions that BAPS and the Indian American community have made to the economic and cultural fabric of Texas. Mr. Hegar remarked, BAPS’s contributions to the community range from local service to educating each generation living in America about Hindu culture and tradition.
The program also highlighted the unique role of BAPS mandirs, which provide a prominent platform for India’s rich culture and heritage. Meghal Bhatt from Pearland stated, “A traditional stone carved mandir like the one in Stafford, Texas enables me to share the traditions, festivals, and diverse culture of India with my friends and colleagues.” His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the current spiritual leader of BAPS has always inspired the Indian American community to celebrate our shared culture and develop a sense of identity and pride in our heritage.
Throughout the evening, state officials were introduced to BAPS’ commitment to community service in the state of Texas and across the nation. “BAPS has a great history of community service dedicated to peace and harmony. BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for society, families, and individuals, and is making a positive impact in Texas,” remarked Matt Shaheen, Texas State Representative, District 66.
In the end, both government officials and those attending from the community left the event with a stronger connection and understanding of Indian American culture, contributions, and core values in the Lone Star State.