Maheshbhai for us was like a Lighthouse when we came in touch with him in early 1974 for a VHPA meeting. Then real introduction came during Emergency when we became a part of Indian for Democracy (IFD.) Since then, we remained in contact and got his advice on various occasions. A few times I had a chance to travel with him and also host him at our home.
In 1976 we participated in a conference in Chicago about Emergency in India (imposed by Mrs. Indira Gandhi) and we had four guests from India. Dr. Subramaniam Swami, Shri Ram Jethmalani, Shri Makarand Desai and Ms. Leela Fernandes. This was a very intensive meeting which send signals all over the world about waking up to the danger of Mrs. Gandhi’s authoritarian rule and generated protests all over the world.
In 1984 I travelled to NYC for a VHPA conference and became very well part of Hindu activities. In Houston we participated in Hindu Youth camp.
During Global Vision 2000 we participated actively and travelled to different cities to show exhibition about Hindu Heritage with slide shows, pictures and talks. in 1993 we took responsibility for the exhibition and it was very nicely done with everyone’s help and participation. Maheshbhai guided us throughout this program. Anjleebahen Pandya helped us for the exhibition hall arrangements.
My visit to India in 1984 gave me an opportunity to understand the seva (social service) activities of Sangh, VHP and VHPA.
We travelled to Boston for several meetings at Maheshbhai’s home. In 2014 we worked together for PM Modi’s New York program at Madison Square Garden. In 2017 we were together to receive Bharatiya Pravasi Bharatiya Samman in Bengaluru (Bangalore), India. We were lucky to visit Boston to see Maheshbhai and Raginiben before they moved to India. There also we were lucky to visit his home in Bopal, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, multiple times. Our last visit was on Nov 30, 2021, at that time we had discussion and he was frustrated that he was not able to do anything. I told him that he had done maximum work and made us all in USA aware of our heritage and that he had established the base of Sangh work in USA by creating several organizations to meet varying needs of the society.
Maheshbhai is not there but we are still in touch with Raginibahen to render any help needed.
Shri Ramesh Shah is former member of VHPA’s governing council. He has held positions in VHPA, OFBJP and Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation. Currently he volunteers as the CEO of worldwide Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation.