Abu Dhabi Hindu temple opening: Dubai Gurdwara to serve 5,000 free meals

The offer to serve 'langar' on inauguration day shows the remarkable interfaith solidarity within the UAE expat community

by

Ashwani Kumar

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Abu Dhabi BAPS Hindu Mandir will be inaugurated on February 14. KT Photo: Neeraj Murali
Abu Dhabi BAPS Hindu Mandir will be inaugurated on February 14. KT Photo: Neeraj Murali

Published: Mon 12 Feb 2024, 3:13 PM

Last updated: Mon 12 Feb 2024, 11:28 PM

The inauguration day of the iconic BAPS Hindu Mandir (temple) in Abu Dhabi will witness remarkable interfaith solidarity displayed by the Guru Nanak Durbar Gurdwara in Dubai.

The management of the Gurdwara will serve 5,000 meals in a ‘langar’ – a community service offering free food to people irrespective of their religion or nationality.

The meals will be served in the presence of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual guru of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be inaugurating the Middle East’s first traditional Hindu stone temple on Wednesday (Feb 14).

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Surender Singh Kandhari, chairman of the Gurudwara committee, noted that serving langar is a tradition in all gurudwaras.

He said, “No one goes hungry. We made this offer to Swami Brahmaviharidas, head of the BAPS Hindu Mandir project, and he readily accepted. The gesture is not only our way of welcoming the new addition into our multi-faith community but also our way of thanking the UAE authorities for their largesse, forward-thinking approach to all religions, and commitment to harmony and tolerance.”

Pujya Swami Brahmaviharidas noted that the gesture perfectly exemplifies the “sense of oneness” that the BAPS espouses.

“Every such gesture only strengthens the fabric of interfaith understanding and acceptance. Langar meals are famous for ingredients that include kindness, humanity, and generosity of spirit, which make these meals so popular.

"There is no doubt in my mind that through the precedents set by the UAE Government in promoting interfaith tolerance and harmony, there will be many more occasions where different faiths will cooperate on ventures designed to strengthen peace and goodwill towards all,” Swami Brahmaviharidas underlined.

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