Rama Krishna Sangem
After Ram Mandir at Ayodhya on January 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be hogging global attention for inaugurating another Hindu temple abroad in February 14, Wednesday. This is Swaminarayan temple at Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates.
This temple of Lord Krishna, Radha is built by Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a Hindu denomination founded in 1905. This denomination followers believe that Lord Swaminarayan is eternally alive through the generations of gurus of the sect.
Describing the temple inauguration in Abu Dhabi as a special occasion, Abdulnasser Alshaali, UAE’s Ambassador to India, has said it “aligns with the values of tolerance and acceptance that guide our bilateral ties”. The temple is built on an area of 27 acres with an estimated cost of around 400 million UAE Dhirams (around Rs 905 crore).
Prime Minister Modi’s February 13-14 visit to the UAE will be his third in the last eight months and the seventh since 2015. He will hold bilateral meetings with President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and, according to the Ministry of External Affairs, the two leaders will discuss ways to further deepen, expand and strengthen the strategic partnership between the countries and exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Modi will speak at World Government Summit
Modi will also meet Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is the Vice President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister of the UAE. At his invitation, the Prime Minister will participate in the World Government Summit 2024 in Dubai as Guest of Honour and deliver a special keynote address at the Summit.
Ambassador Alshaali, told Indian media that: “The UAE views Prime Minister Modi’s upcoming visit to inaugurate the BAPS Hindu temple as a special occasion that aligns with the values of tolerance and acceptance that guide our bilateral ties.”
“The visit holds symbolic importance, showcasing the friendship between the two nations,” he says, adding that the UAE values the cultural diversity represented by the Indian diaspora, the largest group in the UAE with a population of 3.5 million.
Beyond the opening of the BAPS Hindu temple, the UAE, he said, has a strong expectation that the meeting between the two leaders “will be positive and constructive”.
“It is likely we will witness the announcement of further cooperation in key areas of our bilateral partnership.”
The two countries, according to the MEA, are among each other’s top trading partners with a bilateral trade of about US$ 85 billion in 2022-23. UAE is also among the top 4 investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments in 2022-23.
On the increasing economic collaboration between the two countries, Alshaali said, “The UAE prioritises its bilateral and diplomatic ties with India based upon the two countries’ common political, economic, and diplomatic interests, desire to promote peace and prosperity in the international arena, and deep shared history.”