Abu Dhabi’s 1st Hindu temple to be opened by PM Modi by video or in person
Out of the six awards given to PM Narendra Modi in the past five years, four are from Islamic nations including the King Abdulaziz Sash Award from Saudi Arabia; the Amir Amanullah Khan Award from Afghanistan; the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine.Updated: Apr 08, 2019 10:53 IST
With 115 Lok Sabha seats — the most in any phase in this summer’s parliamentary elections — including all 26 from his home state Gujarat set to go to the polls on April 23, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have to take a call this week on whether he inaugurates the first Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi by video, or in person on April 19-20.
At least three officials in the Prime Minister’s Office in South Block confirmed that given his very heavy political commitments, the decision on how he will inaugurate the Swami Narayan temple in Abu Mureikha, 30 minutes from capital Abu Dhabi, has been left to the PM.
The Swami Narayan sect has considerable influence in the state of Gujarat. The land for the temple was given by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi after Modi’s first visit as PM to UAE in 2015.
If he does choose to visit, apart from the religious messaging, Prime Minister Modi will also receive the King Zayed medal in recognition of his “pivotal role” in strengthening ties between two nations. Announcing the highest decoration for PM Modi, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan tweeted: “We have historical and comprehensive strategic ties with India, reinforced by the pivotal role of my dear friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who gave these relations a big boost. In appreciation of his efforts, the UAE President grants him the Zayed Medal.”
Since he came to power in 2014, Modi has worked hard to build goodwill and forge close ties with West Asia, particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He has used his National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, former Counter-Terrorism Envoy Asif Ibrahim, Research and Analysis Wing Chief Anil Dhasmana and Indian Ambassadors to the West Asian nations to achieve this. Out of the six awards given to PM Modi in the past five years, four are from Islamic nations. These include the King Abdulaziz Sash Award (April 3, 2016) from Saudi Arabia; the Amir Amanullah Khan Award (June 4, 2016) from Afghanistan; the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine (February 10, 2018); and the Zayed Medal (April 4, 2019). The other two awards received by PM Modi were the UN Champions of the Earth Award (September 26, 2018) and Seoul Peace Prize on October 24, 2018.
Modi’s outreach has been built on common platforms of counter-radicalisation, counter-terrorism and broad-based economic growth. His foreign policy regarding West Asia has paid rich dividends with countries such as Saudi Arabia and UAE totally blocking any anti-India activity on their territory and more than happy to deport Indian origin criminals back home.