Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed the Indian Diaspora in UAE in the massive Dubai Opera House after witnessing the groundbreaking ceremony of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi through a digital feed.
During his address, PM Modi highlighted India’s close ties with the UAE nations. PM said India’s relations with the UAE was much more than that of a buyer and a seller as he hailed the country’s growing ties with the Gulf countries as “deep, broad and vibrant.”
Addressing the members of the Indian community on the second day of his two-day visit to the UAE, Modi said his government was trying to bring India to a global benchmark.
“Today, be it the UAE or other Gulf nations, our relation with them is not just that of a buyer and a seller. It has become much more,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister assured the Indian community that his government will work to bring to reality their dreams.
“India’s leap in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings from 142 to 100 is unprecedented. But we are not satisfied at this, we want to do better. We will do whatever it takes to make it possible,” he told the gathering. Modi hailed his government’s bold decisions like demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
“GST had been languishing for seven years, but now it is a reality,” he said in his nearly 20-minute speech. Taking a dig at his detractors, Modi said even the poor people agree with the fact that demonetisation was a right move. But some people lost their sleep and they are still mourning, he added.
Modi also thanked the UAE which provided almost 30 lakh people from India a home like environment, away from home.
Earlier, Indian High School student and Guinness Record Holder Sucheta, who has the unique ability to sing in 107 languages, performed a medley of regional Indian language songs ahead of Modi’s arrival at the Dubai Opera.
Modi launches project for first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi
Before his address, PM Modi officially launched a project for the construction of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, describing the holy place as a “catalytic agent” of humanity and harmony that will become a medium of India’s identity.
Modi laid the foundation stone for the BAPS Swaminarayan temple via video conferencing from the Dubai Opera House, where he addressed the members of the Indian community.
“I would like to request all those associated with the construction of the temple that the rulers here have shown so much respect for India. They have been proud of India’s cultural history. Now it’s our responsibility that there is no mistake on our part,” he told the gathering, amid applause.
Modi asked people associated with the construction of the temple and also the worshippers not to cause any harm to others. “This is my expectations from you,” he added. He thanked Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on behalf of 125 crore Indians for the construction of the grand temple in the Gulf emirate.
“People were surprised when Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince took forward the talks of building a temple in Abu Dhabi. I whole heartedly thank his highness on behalf of all 1.25 crore Indians,” Modi said, amid applause.
Connecting with our own! PM @narendramodi addresses the enthusiastic Indian community at the iconic Dubai Opera. Our 3.3 million strong Indian diaspora is a bridge to strengthening our bilateral relations with UAE and has contributed to the UAE growth story. #MarhabaNamaste pic.twitter.com/lbXkJFOVvL— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) February 11, 2018
Modi said this temple will also become a “medium of India’s identity”.
“We have grown in a culture where temples are a medium of humanity...Holy place is a catalytic agent of humanity and harmony,” he told the gathering.
“I believe this temple will not be only unique in terms of architecture and splendour, but will also give a message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ to people across the world,” he said. Temple Committee members had presented the temple literature to Modi and Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan last evening in Abu Dhabi.
“PM @narendramodi witnessed laying of foundation stone for the BAPS Swaminarayan temple on Abu Dhabi - Dubai highway! The first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi being built on a generous gift of land by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi reflects UAE’s commitment to tolerance and harmony,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Modi is visiting the United Arab Emirates for the second time after his 2015 trip to the Gulf country. The temple will come up on 55,000 square metres of land. The structure will be hand-carved by Indian temple artisans and assembled in the UAE.
It will be completed by 2020, and open to people of all religious backgrounds.
It will be the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East, said a spokesperson from the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a socio- spiritual Hindu organisation set up in 1907 that runs more than 1,100 temples and cultural compounds around the world.
The temple will incorporate all aspects and features of a traditional Hindu temple as part of a fully functional, social, cultural and spiritual complex. It will replicate the BAPS temple in New Delhi and the one under construction in New Jersey.
(With inputs from PTI)