New Delhi: The Delhi Gymkhana Club has been a unique witness to history and its alcoves were venue of many meetings between those who played a pivotal role in the unification of India, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Wednesday during the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the club.
He also released a special commemorative post stamp on the occasion.
"The alcoves were venue of many meetings between those who played a pivotal role in the unification of India and transfer of power from the British to Indians," said the President.
Mukherjee said the club served as an important meeting place for officials like V P Menon who supported Sardar Patel and worked hard to convince Indian Maharajas to join the Indian union, according to a Rashtrapati Bhawan statement.
Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin held a private meeting at the Club which led to the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. General K M Cariappa, the senior most Indian officer, hosted a farewell party for colleagues who had opted for Pakistan at the time of the partition.
"Comrades-in-arms, during all our life in the various services we have lived together, worked together played together in the various battlefields on which our magnificent Armed Forces have fought with the highest degree of the fellowship and comradeship. May this spirit continue even after we are separated," the statement quoted the President as saying.
The President asked the members of the Club to keep alive its glorious traditions.
Established initially as the Imperial Delhi Gymkhana Club on July 3, 1913, the Gymkhana Club`s buildings were conceptualised by Sir Edwin Lutyens who also planned the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Construction of the Gymkhana Club and Rashtrapati Bhawan was completed one year apart and both structures embody the style of architecture for which Lutyens is well known.