Presentation and unveiling of the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi in the Constituent Assembly.
The Constituent Assembly chaired by President Dr. Rajendra Prasad reconvened after lunch at 3.00 pm. Shri Prabhashankar Pattani rose to address the Assembly and moved a motion “Resolved that the Constituent Assembly of India do hereby accept the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi by Sir Oswald Birley, bequeathed to the nation by Sir Prabhashankat Pattani”.
He went out to narrate the story behind the portrait. When Mahatma Gandhi went to London in 1935 to attend the 2nd Round Table Conference, the great portrait painter, Sir Oswald Birley painted a portrait of the Mahatma for his own use. When his father the late Shri Pattani heard of it, he persuaded Mr. Birley to sell it to him since he intended this for India. When this portrait arrived in Bhavnagar, it was kept in the original packing and no one was allowed to see it for a long time. He never mentioned to anyone what he intended to do with it. When the Government of India Act, 1935 was passed for the first time he told his son privately that he intended to present this portrait to the Nation once the new Government is formed under the Act. Unfortunately the Act remained unfulfilled. On 16th February 1938, the senior Pattani was to catch a flight to meet Mahatma Gandhi at Haripura session of the Congress. That meeting was not destined to happen either and in less than 10 minutes left before the flight, he passed away. Amidst his dying breaths he reminded his son of his wishes, that the portrait should be presented to an Indian Government.
So, Sir Prabhashankar Pattani convened the words of his father “It is a portrait of the Saint who labored more than anyone else for peace and who preached non-violence which is ultimately the only right way in human affairs.”
This portrait was formally accepted by the Constituent Assembly and it now hangs in the Central Hall of the Parliament of India.