H.H. The Aga KhanS VISIT TO INDIA - 1969-02-21
Mowlana Hazar Imam and Prince Amyn Mohammed landed at Bombay on 21st February, 1969. The occasion for this present visit was to hand over to the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Fund through the Government of India the historic Aga Khan Palace at Poona. During the 6 days visit, Mowlana Hazar Imam was the official guest of Government of India and was received at the airport by Officials of both Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra. The leaders of the Ismaili Community were also at Airport and Mowlana Hazar Imam's first inquiry on landing was to know the welfare of the Jamats. Count Eboo Peerbhoy, had specially come over to Bombay for this visit and he introduced to Mowlana Hazar Imam, a number of Ismaili Journalists who were present at the airport.
On 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 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 were therefore all the more appreciative for this spontaneous act of generosity which would for ever hold Indians in obligation to him.
On the 23rd February, Mowlana Hazar Imam accompanied by Prince Amyn Mohammad visited Elephanta Caves. Same evening he attended a reception arranged by Maharashtra College of Science. Mowlana Hazar Imam also visited Darkhana, Karimabad and Hasanabad Jamats and made very important firmans on Unity, Education, Housing and Co-operatives.
On the 24th morning, Mowlana Hazar Imam accompanied by Prince Amyn Mohammad left for New Delhi. During his stay in the Indian capital, Mowlana Hazar Imam had meetings, met with the Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Home Minister, Mr. Chavan and the Foreign Minister, Mr. Dinesh Singh. Mrs. Indira Gandhi held a Dinner in his honour the same evening.
On the 25th February, Mowlana Hazar Imam called upon Mr. Zakir Hussain, President of India. The same evening a gala dinner was arranged by the Indian President in honour of Mowlana Hazar Imam.