Portrait of India's first parliamentarian couple in Parliament

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New Delhi, Dec 2 (UNI) The Alva couple -- Joachim and Violet -- has already made their mark in history by being the first couple to be elected to the Indian Parliament.

Recognising their contribution to Indian polity and democracy, Parliament has now decided to honour them by unveiling their portrait in the Parliament complex on December 5.

In 1952, when an independent India conducted its first general elections, Joachim Alva successfully contested the Lok Sabha poll while his wife, Violet, was elected to the Rajya Sabha.

The couple had contested the election from the erstwhile Bombay state.

A family source said the unveiling of the portrait would coincide with the centenary year of Joachim Alva. Violet Alva, who was younger to her husband by a year, would be having her birth centenary the following year.

Joachim, a Konkani from Mangalore, had met Violet Hari, a docile and diffident girl from Gujarat, during his tempestuous days as a student leader in college politics.

There were apparently a lot of differences in their background.

Joachim was bold and plucky and a follower of Catholioc faith. On the other hand, Violet was diminutive, reserved and a Protestanr.

However, they overcame the orthodoxy of the time and their religious differences to forge a lasting marital relationship, which spilled over in their political and legal careers as well.

They exchanged the vows on November 20, 1937. But long before that, Violet had been a transformed person - a confident speaker, a linguist and a successful journalist.

In fact, so perfect was the bonding between them that the couple decided to join the bar in Mumbai. Later, they switched over to journalism.

December 5 will be a momentous day for the illustrious family when the unveiling of their portrait will cement their place in history -- for ever.

UNI

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