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‘When I presented temple proposal…’: PM Modi narrates Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed’s response to BAPS temple proposal during ‘Ahlan Modi’ event address

The inauguration of the BAPS temple is a "key part" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (13th February) addressed the ‘Ahlan Modi’ Indian diaspora event held at Zayed Sports Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The Prime Minister also spoke about the BAPS Hindu Mandir which will be inaugurated in the city.

Noting that India is being recognised for its mega infrastructure projects and Digital India is being appreciated, Prime Minister Modi said that the world is looking at India as a ‘Vishwa Bandhu’.

“In 2015, when I presented to him (Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed) the proposal to build a temple in Abu Dhabi on behalf of all of you, he immediately said yes to it…now the time has come to inaugurate this grand (BAPS) temple,” he said.

The inauguration of the BAPS temple is a “key part” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

PM Modi also exuded confidence in returning to power in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he has given a “guarantee” to make India the third largest economy in his third term.

Highlighting the multiple accomplishments achieved by the country, the PM said every Indian has the goal of making India a developed nation by 2047.

PM Modi said, “I have so much faith in the potential of each and every Indian, weighing on which, Modi has given a guarantee that in his third term he will make India the third largest economy. Modi ki guarantee, yani guarantee, pura hone ki guarantee.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told a gathering of the Indian diaspora in UAE that he has brought with him the fragrance of the soil where they were born and a message of 140 crore citizens of India that “Bharat is proud of you”.

“Today in Abu Dhabi, you have created a new history. You have come here from all corners of the UAE and different states of India. But everyone’s heart is connected. At this historic stadium, every heartbeat, every breath, every voice says – Long live India-UAE friendship,” PM Modi said.

Highlighting the relationship between India and the UAE in terms of talent and innovation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that what the two countries have achieved in terms of community and culture is a model for the world.

PM Modi said, “Our relationship is that of talent, innovation and culture. In the past, we have re-energised our relations, in every direction. The two countries have walked together and have gone ahead together. Today, the UAE is India’s third largest trade partner. Today, the UAE is the seventh largest investor. Both countries are cooperating a lot in Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business.”

“Even today, the MoUs that were signed between us are taking forward this commitment. We are integrating our financial system. In the field of technology and innovation, the India-UAE partnership is strengthening continuously. In the area of community and culture, what India-UAE have achieved is a model for the world,” he added.

Prime Minister Modi also said a sentence in Arabic to showcase the similarity in the languages of two countries. PM Modi’s sentence translated to, “India and UAE writing a chapter on better fortune with time’s pen on the world’s book.”

“There is so much closeness in terms of our languages…The relationship of both countries goes back to thousands of years. It is our wish that it further strengthens with time,” he further said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauded UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for acknowledging the significant contribution of Indians to UAE’s development. PM Modi expressed gratitude for President Al Nahyan’s assurance and proactive measures to ensure the well-being of Indians in the UAE when the COVID pandemic struck.

Addressing the Indian diaspora at the ‘Ahlan Modi’ event, PM Modi said, “How much concern he (UAE President) has for you all, I also saw during Covid. When I said that we were trying to bring back the Indians from there due to the pandemic, he asked me not to worry. He took care of everyone and made all arrangements for vaccinations, alleviating my concerns. I really didn’t need to worry.”

Prime Minister Modi also said that today, India stands with its people whenever a crisis occurs, because of which the world is looking at India as a ‘Vishwa Bandhu’. The stadium, packed with thousands of Indian diaspora members, reverberated with the chants of “Modi-Modi” upon the arrival of PM Modi.

“Today, India is being recognised for its mega infrastructure projects. India is being recognized as a vibrant tourism destination. India is being recognised as a big sports power. You will be proud to hear this. You know the digital revolution in India. Digital India is appreciated across the world. To ensure that people in UAE also get its benefit, we are making all efforts. We shared RuPay card pack with the UAE…UPI is about to begin in UAE soon. With this, seamless payments will be possible between the UAE and Indian accounts,” PM Modi said.

“Today the world is looking at India as a ‘Vishwa Bandhu’. Today India’s voice is heard on every major platform of the world. Wherever there is a crisis, the name of India comes among the first countries to reach there. Today’s strong India stands with its people at every step,” he added.

PM Modi also highlighted the strong bond between India and the UAE, noting that this is his seventh visit to the UAE in the last ten years.

“This is my 7th visit to the UAE in the last 10 years. Brother Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed also came to receive me at the airport today…this makes him special. I am happy that we got the opportunity to welcome him four times in India. A few days ago he came to Gujarat and lakhs of people gathered on the streets to thank him,” he said.

“I have come to meet my family members. I have brought the fragrance of the soil where you were born and have brought the message of 140 crore people. The message is that Bharat is proud of you,” he added.

“I remember my first visit (to the UAE) in 2015 when it had been only some time since I came to the Centre. It was the first visit of an Indian PM to the UAE, after three decades. The world of diplomacy was new to me. At that time, I was welcomed at the airport by the then Crown Prince and today’s President along with his five brothers. That warmth, the shine in their eyes – I can never forget that…That welcome was not for me alone but for the 140 crore Indians,” the Prime Minister said.

He also expressed his gratitude for UAE’s highest civilian award – ‘The Order of Zayed’ which was conferred on him in 2019 – and said the honour was not just for him but for crores of Indians and the Indian diaspora residing in the Gulf country.

“I am fortunate that the UAE has awarded me with its highest civilian award – The Order of Zayed. This honour is not just mine but that of the crores of Indians, of all of you,” he added.

Reflecting on the bilateral relations between India and the UAE, PM Modi praised the collaboration in trade, investment, and technology.

He highlighted the UAE’s position as India’s third-largest trade partner and seventh-largest investor, saying, “Our relation is that of talent, innovation and culture. In the past, we have re-energised our relations, in every direction. The two countries have walked together and have gone ahead together.”

The Prime Minister also emphasised the ongoing commitment to cooperation in Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business, pointing to the signed MoUs that further strengthen these ties.

“Both the countries are cooperating a lot in Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business. Even today, the MoUs that were signed between us are taking forward this commitment…In terms of community and culture, the achievements of Bharat and UAE serve as a model for the world to emulate,” PM Modi said.

Emphasizing the commitment to provide the best education in the UAE, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that a new Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) office will soon be established in Dubai.

PM Modi highlighted the significant achievements in the education sector, stating that “More than 1.5 lakh Indian students are studying in UAE schools… The master’s course was started at the IIT Delhi campus here last month and a new CBSE office will be opened soon in Dubai. These institutions will be helpful in providing the best education to the Indian community here”.

There was an evident enthusiasm in the Indian diaspora for the ‘Ahlan Modi’ event with the organisers having had to close registrations last week as the number of attendees surpassed 65,000. This is PM Modi’s seventh trip to the Arabian Peninsula nation which is home to millions of Indians.

The Prime Minister was greeted by “Modi-Modi” slogans before he began his speech.

On the second day of his UAE visit, PM Modi will inaugurate the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. After the visit to UAE, PM Modi will proceed to Doha on the second leg of the two-nation visit.

(With agency inputs)

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