UAE is a beacon of tolerance and a global symbol of benevolence
The upcoming temple will welcome an abode of global cultural exchange and wisdom
Today is a proud day for people of the UAE, and the Hindu community across the world. The stone laying of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi becomes a true milestone in the legacy of religious tolerance that the country is known for, as well as its culture of cosmopolitanism, mutual respect and happy co-existence.
The BAPS Hindu temple is a tribute to the social, economic and cultural unity of the UAE and India, as a supreme symbol of the bilateral relations between the countries which has grown in strength, especially over the last few years under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Shri Narendra Modi, Hon. Prime Minister of India.
In the last five years, leaders from the UAE and India have made two state visits each, during which many key agreements were signed between the two countries. These visits have heralded a new epoch in the bilateral relations between the UAE and India.
Above all, the BAPS Hindu Mandir is a stellar example of the benevolence of the rulers of the UAE, whose vision and kindness make the country a global hub that attracts and hosts people from all over the world irrespective of religion, caste, or belief.
It is the same benevolence that has added wings to the aspirations of the Hindu community of the UAE, with the allocation of prime land and resources so that the temple can be located at a point which can be easily and conveniently accessed by all.
I have been privileged to have worked closely with the BAPS Foundation to see the dream of having the mandir established in the country, and I can proudly say that this will soon turn into a leading temple that would attract not just devotees from within the country, but also people from across the world.
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, a worldwide community-based social and spiritual organisation, has a strong legacy and history of founding and managing renowned Hindu places of worship around the world, and their legacy will surely transform the temple to an abode of global cultural exchange and wisdom. As a place of harmony, it will welcome people of all faiths to experience and understand Hindu culture and spirituality.
It is a privilege for us all to welcome His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj to be with us to mark the Shilanya of the BAPS Hindu Mandir. I congratulate the entire community members who have given support to this noble thought of having a Hindu temple in the UAE, and pay my tribute to the rulers and leaders of the UAE and the Government of India for working together to make this dream a reality.
I am sure that the same camaraderie, cohesion and cultural spirit will see the grand structure getting built in the near future as a global landmark beckoning the world to an outstanding nation, which is a beacon of tolerance and community harmony.
Dr. B. R. Shetty is the Founder and Chairman of NMC Healthcare, Finablr and BRS Ventures.
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