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Aga Khan Palace presented to India by His Highness The Aga Khan IV 1969-02-22

Saturday, 1969, February 22
H.H. The Aga Khan met with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India

The Yeravada Palace has been handed over to the Indian Government on
Saturday, February 22, 1969 as a national memorial to Mahatma Gandhi in
presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam.

During the handing over ceremony, the Imam said in his speech that, "It was 1897 that my great grand-mother took in hand the construction of this palace and since then the property has been intimately connected with my family so much so that until very recently, close relations have been living here. My grandfather was deeply attached to this property having spent much of his childhood with his mother here, and it was late in the eve of his life that he decided to give the property to my late father.

From him the palace has passed to my sister, my brother and myself and it has therefore been in the family for four generations. The palace might well have remained in the family for many more years as a much loved home had it not been for the events in 1942 for it was then that Mahatama Gandhi, his wife Kasturba and his Secretary, Mahadev Desai, were sent here to be kept in house custody. Thus the course of history transformed this property from a treasured family possession to one of National Significance....

The members of the Ismaili community in India, my brother and I are sincerely happy on the occasion of the handing over to the Government of India of what is to become a National Monument to the Father of the Nation, and we hope that his memory and the noble and profoundly human ideas for which he lived and died will not only be remembered, but practiced by all those who will visit this palace in the future."

The Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of 15 million Islamic Muslims, flew into New Delhi, accompanied by his wife, Begum Salima, to renew his acquaintance with leaders of the new government. He met Indian President, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, India's new Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, Vice President Hidayat Ullah, and Foreign Minister, Narsihma Rao

In the 22nd morning, in the midst of a distinguished audience Mowlana Hazar Imam was pleased to hand over into the custody of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Fund the AGA KHAN PALACE. Thanking Mowlana Hazar Imam for this splendid act of generosity, Mr. Morarji Desai the Deputy Prime Minister of India recounted that the Palace held a special place in the hearts of all Indians associated as it was with Mahatma Gandhi who, immediately after the Quit India' movement, was held prisoner at the Palace. Mr. Morarji Desai emphasised that this gift had been entirely on the initiative of Aga Khan and the Government of India was therefore all the more appreciative for this spontaneous act of generosity which would for ever hold Indians in obligation to him.

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