When you think of the great heroes of Texas, Mahatma Gandhi may not be the first person that comes to mind.
But when hundreds of people -- including Gov. Greg Abbott (R) -- gather for a special tribute to the global icon, it's hard to ignore his importance and influence.
"Everything is bigger in Texas -- including Gandhi," Abbott said.
The latest news from around North Texas.
North Texas, home to more than 250,000 Indian Americans, is also home to the largest Gandhi memorial in the U.S. And it's where a ceremony was held Sunday morning to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his birth.
"Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian, but he does not only belong to India," said Surendra Adhana, the new Indian Consul General based in Houston. "He belongs to the whole world."
There was talk of his legacy of peace and non-violence.
"He was a gentleman who proved that a simple man has the power to take on an empire by simply using ethics, but not guns," said Dr. Prasad Thotakura, chairman of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial of North Texas.
Gandhi's efforts to free and unite people were also recognized. Those in attendance said they've led to an important bond between India and Texas today. Texas accounts for 10% of all U.S. trade with India, worth an estimated $7 billion.
"If you look at a globe, you will see that Texas and India are pretty much on opposite sides of the world," Abbott said. "But what I've found over time is that with each passing day, the distance between India and the U.S. and Texas seems to get closer and closer and closer because of the strong economic and cultural ties that we are building together."
At the end of the ceremony, speakers and dignitaries released doves into the air. Attendees then took part in a peace walk -- both reminders that in an increasingly difficult and violent world, Gandhi still has a lot to offer.