Shri Swami Narayan Jai Dev, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Al Mubarak, the respected Mahant Swami Ji Maharaj, distinguished guests from Bharat, the UAE, and various countries worldwide, and my brothers and sisters participating in this event from every corner of the globe!

Today, the United Arab Emirates has etched a new golden chapter in human history. A grand and divine temple is being inaugurated in Abu Dhabi, marking the culmination of years of hard work and fulfilling a long-standing dream. The blessings of Lord Swami Narayan are intertwined with this momentous occasion. Wherever Pramukh Swami may be in the divine realm, his soul will surely rejoice. My relationship with Pujya Pramukh Swamiji was akin to that of a father and son. I had the privilege of being in his company and receiving paternal affection for a significant part of my life. I continued to receive his guidance even during my tenure as the Chief Minister and Prime Minister. Remarkably, during the construction of Akshardham in Delhi, I was present at the foundation stone laying ceremony at his behest, long before my political career began. Just as he had fulfilled his Guru's wish by establishing a sacred temple on the banks of the Yamuna, embodying the ideal of a devoted disciple, today, with the same sense of discipleship, I stand before you, honoured to have helped realize Pramukh Swami Maharaj's dream. Furthermore, today also marks the auspicious festival of Basant Panchami and the birth anniversary of revered Shastri Ji Maharaj. Basant Panchami celebrates Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of human intelligence and conscience. It is this intelligence that enables us to implement ideals such as cooperation, harmony, and unity in life. I believe this temple will usher in a brighter future for humanity, symbolising communal harmony and global unity for the world.

Brothers & Sisters,

The presence of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Al Mubarak, UAE's Minister of Tolerance, is particularly notable today. I am grateful to him for articulating his sentiments, presenting his ideas, and eloquently describing them in his own words to bolster our aspirations.

Friends,

The commendable role played by the UAE government in the construction of this temple cannot be overstated. However, if anyone deserves the greatest credit for realizing the vision of this magnificent temple, it is my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. I am fully aware of how wholeheartedly the entire UAE government, under the leadership of President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, has fulfilled the aspirations of crores of Indians. He has not only endeared himself to the hearts of 140 crore Indians but has also played a pivotal role in transforming the temple dream of Pramukh Swamiji into reality. It is my greatest fortune to have been associated with this project from its inception to its fruition, witnessing firsthand the immense generosity of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. I extend my endless gratitude to him. I wish his stature and the depth of the Bharat-UAE relationship is acknowledged not only by the people of the UAE and Bharat but also by the entire world. I recall my visit to the UAE in 2015 when I discussed the concept of this temple with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. Upon presenting the aspirations of the Indian people to him, he promptly and enthusiastically embraced my proposal. He swiftly allocated a vast tract of land for the temple, demonstrating his unwavering support. Moreover, another issue related to the temple was resolved. During my visit to the UAE in 2018, the local saints, as mentioned by Brahmavihari Swami Ji, presented two temple models. One model depicted a grand temple inspired by ancient Vedic styles of Bharat, while the other was a simpler design devoid of Hindu religious symbols on the exterior. The saints said that the design approved by the UAE government would then be carried forward. Upon deliberating on this matter with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, his stance was unequivocal. He asserted that temples in Abu Dhabi should be constructed in all their splendour and grandeur. He not only envisioned a temple but also envisioned it to be a true embodiment of temple architecture.

Friends,

This is not a trivial matter; it is a significant undertaking. It is not just about constructing a temple here; it is about ensuring that it embodies the essence of a true temple. This spirit of brotherhood with Bharat is indeed our greatest asset. The magnificence of the temple we behold here is a testament to the grand vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. Until now, the UAE was renowned for landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa, the Future Museum, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, and other cutting-edge structures. Now, another cultural milestone has been added to its identity. I am confident that a substantial number of devotees will visit here in the future, consequently boosting the influx of visitors to the UAE and enhancing people-to-people connections. On behalf of crores of Indians residing across Bharat and the world, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to President His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the UAE Government. I urge all of you to join me in giving a standing ovation to the President of the UAE from here. Thank you very much. I also extend my heartfelt gratitude to the people of the UAE for their cooperation.

Friends,

The friendship between Bharat and the UAE is regarded worldwide as a model of mutual trust and collaboration. Particularly in recent years, our relations have reached unprecedented heights. However, Bharat does not view these relations solely within the contemporary context. For us, the foundation of these ties stretches back thousands of years. Centuries ago, the Arab world served as a crucial trade bridge between Bharat and Europe. For the traders of Gujarat, my home state, the Arab world was the primary hub of trade relations, tracing back to our ancestors. It is from this intersection of civilizations that new opportunities arise, giving birth to new avenues of art, literature, and culture. Hence, the significance of this temple constructed in Abu Dhabi cannot be overstated. This temple injects fresh cultural vigour into our ancient ties.

Friends,

The grand temple in Abu Dhabi is not merely a place of worship; it is a symbol of humanity's shared heritage. It embodies the mutual affection between the peoples of Bharat and Arabia and reflects the spiritual dimension of Bharat-UAE relations. I commend the BAPS organization and its members for this remarkable achievement. I express my admiration for the devotees of Hari. Temples have been erected worldwide by the members of the BAPS organization, under the guidance of our revered sages. The meticulous attention to Vedic intricacies in these temples is matched by a modern outlook. The Swaminarayan Sanyas tradition exemplifies how one can embrace the modern world while adhering to ancient principles. Everyone can learn valuable lessons from your organizational prowess, systemic efficiency, and sensitivity towards each devotee. All of this is a manifestation of Bhagwan Swaminarayan's grace. I offer my humble obeisance to Bhagwan Swaminarayan on this momentous occasion. Congratulations to all of you and to all the devotees in the country and abroad.

Friends,

The friendship between Bharat and the UAE is regarded worldwide as a model of mutual trust and collaboration. Particularly in recent years, our relations have reached unprecedented heights. However, Bharat does not view these relations solely within the contemporary context. For us, the foundation of these ties stretches back thousands of years. Centuries ago, the Arab world served as a crucial trade bridge between Bharat and Europe. For the traders of Gujarat, my home state, the Arab world was the primary hub of trade relations, tracing back to our ancestors. It is from this intersection of civilizations that new opportunities arise, giving birth to new avenues of art, literature, and culture. Hence, the significance of this temple constructed in Abu Dhabi cannot be overstated. This temple injects fresh cultural vigour into our ancient ties.

Friends,

The grand temple in Abu Dhabi is not merely a place of worship; it is a symbol of humanity's shared heritage. It embodies the mutual affection between the peoples of Bharat and Arabia and reflects the spiritual dimension of Bharat-UAE relations. I commend the BAPS organization and its members for this remarkable achievement. I express my admiration for the devotees of Hari. Temples have been erected worldwide by the members of the BAPS organization, under the guidance of our revered sages. The meticulous attention to Vedic intricacies in these temples is matched by a modern outlook. The Swaminarayan Sanyas tradition exemplifies how one can embrace the modern world while adhering to ancient principles. Everyone can learn valuable lessons from your organizational prowess, systemic efficiency, and sensitivity towards each devotee. All of this is a manifestation of Bhagwan Swaminarayan's grace. I offer my humble obeisance to Bhagwan Swaminarayan on this momentous occasion. Congratulations to all of you and to all the devotees in the country and abroad.

Friends,

Our Vedas proclaim 'Ekam Sat Vipra Bahuda Vadanti,' meaning scholars interpret the same God, the same truth, in various ways. This philosophy is ingrained in the core consciousness of Bharat. Hence, we not only embrace everyone by nature but also extend a warm welcome to all. We perceive diversity not as a source of division but as our unique strength. This belief bolsters our confidence in the face of global conflicts and challenges, fortifying our confidence in humanity. At every step in this temple, you will witness a glimpse of confidence in diversity. Alongside Hindu iconography, Egyptian hieroglyphs and narratives from the Bible and Quran adorn the temple walls. As soon as I entered the temple, the Wall of Harmony caught my eye, constructed by our Bohra Muslim community. Subsequently, a remarkable 3D experience of the temple was showcased, initiated by the Parsi community. Here, our Sikh brothers and sisters have undertaken the responsibility of langar. People from all faiths have contributed to the temple's construction. It is also noteworthy that the seven pillars or minarets of the temple symbolise the seven emirates of the UAE. This spirit reflects the essence of the Indian people, as wherever we traverse, we respect and assimilate the culture and values of the place. It is heartening to witness this same sense of respect for all embodied in the life of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. My brother, my friend Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, also harbours a vision that we are all brothers. He erected the House of Abrahamic Family in Abu Dhabi, which encompasses a mosque, a church, and a synagogue. And now, this temple of Bhagwan Swami Narayan in Abu Dhabi is providing a new dimension to the concept of unity in diversity.

Friends,

Today, from this grand and sacred location, I am pleased to share another piece of good news. This morning, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE, announced the donation of land to construct a hospital for Indian workers in Dubai. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to him and to my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

Friends,

Our Vedas impart the wisdom that "समानो मंत्र: समिति: समानी, समानम् मनः सह चित्तम् एषाम्" (Samano Mantra Samitih Samani, Samanam Manah Saha Chittam Esham), meaning our thoughts should be united, our minds connected, and our resolutions aligned. This call for human unity forms the fundamental essence of our spirituality. Our temples serve as hubs for these teachings and resolutions. In these temples we declare in one voice that there should be goodwill among the living beings, there should be welfare of the world, reciting the verses of the Vedas. They teach us the principle of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" – the whole earth is our family. Guided by this principle, Bharat is dedicated to promoting global peace. This time under Bharat's presidency, the G-20 countries have further strengthened and taken forward the resolve of 'One Earth, One Family, One Future'. Our endeavours are exemplified by campaigns such as 'One Sun, One World, One Grid'. With the spirit of सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामया (Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaha: Sarve Santu Niramaya), India is also working towards the mission of 'One Earth, One Health'. Our culture and faith inspire us to work for global welfare. Bharat is working in this direction on the mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas. I am confident that the humanitarian vision embodied by the Abu Dhabi temple will invigorate our resolutions and bring them to fruition. With this, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all present. I dedicate this grand temple to humanity as a whole. I offer my obeisance to respected Mahant Swami ji and pay homage to respected Pramukh Ji Swami, and wishing "Jai Shri Swami Narayan" to all the devotees.

 

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PM Modi's interview to News X
May 21, 2024

In an interview to News X, Prime Minister Modi addressed the issue of toxic language in elections, explained why the Opposition frequently discussed him, and shared his views on job creation. He criticized the Congress' tax plans and appeasement politics.

Rishabh Gulati: A very warm welcome to the viewers of NewsX and India News. I’m Rishabh Gulati and with me is Aishwarya Sharma of The Sunday Guardian and Rana Yashwant. In today’s special episode, we proudly welcome a renowned ‘rashtra sevak’, and the Prime Minister of India in this Amrit Kaal, Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi. Mr Prime Minister, you took the time to speak to us, we are very grateful.

Prime Minister: Namaskar, my warm greetings to all your viewers.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, the first question that comes to mind is about the Opposition, and it seems that the biggest item on their poll agenda is Narendra Modi. Why, in your opinion, do they talk so much about Narendra Modi?

Prime Minister: To understand why they discuss Narendra Modi, we must first understand the Opposition. To understand them, one can examine the administration between 2004 and 2014.

The Opposition has not been able to play a strong role. Even as the Opposition, the way they are falling apart, they did not play a constructive role of any kind. Despite deep discussions, they haven’t been able to bring serious issues to the public attention. They thought that by their antics, taking up space in the media, they would be able to keep their boat afloat. Even in this election, I have seen that they make fresh attempts every day to acquire media space, be it by making videos, nonsensical statements, or behaving in a way that people don’t normally behave. So they do this to acquire space in the media. Now abusing Modi is one such antic, where, if nothing else, they are guaranteed publicity. Even a small-time politician, if he bad-mouths me, will get about an hour of media attention. Perhaps they see Modi as a ladder to climb up in their political career.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, the I.N.D.I. alliance is talking about wealth redistribution. Do you think this is possible, and will the voters of the country be influenced by such a scheme?

Prime Minister: You can’t examine this in isolation. You must look at their overall thought process. When their (Congress) manifesto was released, I had said the manifesto had the imprint of the Muslim League. There was a statement made by Dr Manmohan Singh… I had attended the meeting in which he said that ‘Muslims have the first right to India’s resources.’ Now when I raised this in public, their media ecosystem raised a storm saying that ‘Modi is lying,’. So two days later, I brought Manmohan Singh’s press conference forward and put it in front of them. Then they stopped talking. So this was one example. Now in their Manifesto, they have said that they will give reservation (to Muslims) even when allotting government contracts.

So today, when a bridge is to be built somewhere, what is the criteria for awarding the contract? The company bidding is evaluated based on how resourceful they are, their experience, their capability, their ability to deliver on time, all these things. Now they say that they want to give reservations to the minorities, to the Muslims, in this process as well. It all adds up. Now when they say that they will impose inheritance tax, it means that taxes that go to the government, who will stand to benefit from it? It’s the same people that Manmohan Singh ji talked about. If you join the dots, this is the logic that comes from it. How will the country accept this? Secondly, has any developing country in the world indulged in such madness? Today, India needs to work hard to rise above its problems. We have made this attempt and pulled 25 crore people out of poverty. Where there used to be a few hundred start-ups, there are now over 1.25 lakh start-ups, and there are Unicorns. You must go among the people and work with energy, and that will bring the right result.

 

Rana Yashwant: Mr Prime Minister, the Ram Mandir has been built in Ayodhya, the consecration of Ram Lalla took place and there was joy among the people. In all this, there is Iqbal Ansari, who has fought the legal battle, and is an important person. He comes, holding a placard that says ‘Modi ka Parivaar’. Today, the minority community identifies with your policies and welfare schemes. Your opinion?

Prime Minister: Since you’ve brought up Ram Mandir and Iqbal Ansari, I will narrate an incident. Ram Mandir should have been built right after Independence. In all these years, it wasn’t built because they (Congress) felt it would affect their vote bank. Attempts were made in the Courts till the very end to stop it. It is a fact that Congress hindered the building of the Ram Mandir. Despite this, when the Supreme Court judgment came through, the Court constituted a trust, and the trust members, let go of all past differences and went to invite the Congress Party members to the consecration ceremony. They rejected the invitation. The same people went to invite Iqbal Ansari. The ironic thing is, that Iqbal Ansari, who fought the Babri Masjid case his entire life, respected the Supreme Court’s verdict and attended the ‘Shilanyas’ and the ‘Pran Prathistha’ ceremony as well. This is what I think, as far as Iqbal Ansari is concerned.

Now if you want to talk about secularism, it is my very serious allegation, that for over 75 years, through a very well-crafted conspiracy, a false narrative has been fed to the nation. It has been embedded in the nation from before our birth. Sardar Patel was targeted by this narrative, and maybe, today it may be my turn, tomorrow someone else… Why do they cry out ‘secularism’ over and over again? It’s because they want to divert the world’s attention from their communal activities.

They cry ‘thief’ over and over when they have defrauded the people, and they do this because they think crying ‘thief’ will divert the public’s attention. This is their ploy. I have called them out in front of everyone, that they are the ones who are communal. India’s constitution does not allow you to indulge in such sectarian acts, and I have brought out several such examples, like I mentioned earlier that they called the Muslims the rightful inheritors of India’s wealth. I am exposing them. They (Congress) hide behind their politics of appeasement and instead accuse me of being communal. I am talking about those communal parties that wear the ‘nikab’ of secularism and indulge in hardcore communalism. I find three things common among these people. They are hardcore sectarians, they are extremely casteist, and they are hardcore dynasts. They are so full of these three things that they can’t come out of it.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have spoken about lifting 25 crore people out of poverty. 80 crore poor people are receiving ration – it is necessary now and will be so in the future as well. What do you have to say about how crucial it will be in the future?

Prime Minister: When Manmohan Singh ji was the Prime Minister, news was rife with reports of food grains getting spoilt. So, the Supreme Court asked the government as to why the grains were not being distributed among the poor. Manmohan Singh ji, who was the Prime Minister then, stated on record that they could not distribute the grains and that it was impossible to do it. That is the consequence of his thinking. I faced the same issue, especially during COVID-19. My first goal was to ensure that a stove should be lit in every poor household. So, I started working on it. I have stated this for the next five years as well because in the lives of those who come out of poverty…

For example, one returns home from the hospital. The treatment has been done but precaution is necessary. A doctor advises you to take rest for a particular duration after returning home, tells you what to eat and what to refrain from consuming, and what to take care of. Why? The illness has already been addressed, but if anything is jeopardized then the condition of the person would return to what it was. That is why poor people who escape poverty need handholding. They should not return to that state in any condition. Once they escape poverty, they should be empowered to stand strong. In my understanding, in the next five years, those who have escaped poverty should be able to firmly stand on their feet. Any unfortunate incident in their family, should not push them to poverty again. And only then will the country eradicate poverty.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, our country is the youngest country. Under your tenure, 10 lakh government jobs have been filled. Now, the Opposition has vowed to fill 30 lakh government jobs. In your third term, how do you plan to boost employment opportunities for the youth?

Prime Minister: You must have read the SKOCH report that was released. I hope your TV channel studies the SKOCH report in detail and conducts a TV debate on this. They have analysed some 20 to 22 schemes of the government. They have published statistics about how many person-year-hours have been obtained. They have revealed how many hours it takes to build 4 crore houses and how many people it employs. They have published data for about 22 different parameters.

They have stated that 50 crore people have accrued benefits. Secondly, we brought the Mudra Yojana. We give bank loans without any guarantee. We have disbursed loans worth Rs 23 Lakh Crore. 80% of those who have received these loans are first-timers. Some have started their businesses and have employed a few people in this process. Start-ups used to be in the thousands and now they are in lakhs. People have been employed in this process, right? Consider that a 1000-kilometre road is being built and think about how many jobs are created. So, if a 2000-kilometre road is being built more people will be employed, right? Today, road and rail construction has doubled, electrification has doubled, and mobile towers are reaching every corner of India. All this is being created by people who have received jobs. That is why a lie is being peddled.

 What’s important is that we must move towards creating jobs for ourselves. The youth in this country are in the mood to do something and be productive and we must help them. We must encourage them. Our Mudra Yojana does exactly that. We also run the SVANidhi scheme. There are countless street hawkers, who are poor people. But today, they are taking money from the bank to run their businesses. Due to this, they can save money and expand their business. Earlier, a street hawker would sit on the footpath and now his goal is to buy a lorry. One who would owned a lorry earlier now wishes to provide home delivery services. Their aspirations are rising. This is why I believe that while people receive the benefits of government schemes, which will eventually result in development, we must also focus on several other areas.

 

Rana Yashwant: Prime Minister, your government works on the principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. Beneficiaries avail welfare schemes without any discrimination – caste, religion, or community. Yet, the Opposition maintains that Muslims do not accrue the same benefits from these welfare schemes.

Prime Minister: You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. The unique aspect of my government, in terms of delivering welfare schemes, has not raised any questions regarding discrimination.

 

Rana Yashwant: The Opposition has to say this.

Prime Minister: Even the Opposition does not say this. You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. I have never heard this from anybody because everyone knows… and Muslims themselves say that they receive all benefits.

The primary reason is that I have two principles. First, 100% saturation. For example, if poor people must be given houses, complete delivery must take place. If 100% delivery is the goal, then where does the scope of discrimination even arise? Whether it is providing gas connections, building toilets, ensuring tap water connections, I believe in 100% delivery. Yes, some people will receive the benefits in January, some in April and some in November, but the scheme will apply to all and 100%. I believe that true secularism is when 100% delivery is done. Social justice is when 100% is done. So, if my mission is 100% saturation… and nobody has made this charge yet. They don’t have the courage to say it. I have lived in Gujarat as well, and on this topic, nobody can prop up any charges against me.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have taken out time to sit with us and relay your ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Thank you so much. Best of luck for the polls ahead.

Prime Minister: I thank you all. I have been campaigning day and night…

 

Rana Yashwant: You are constantly on the move. We see you morning until night on the run…

Rishabh Gulati: Today, you had a big rally at 8 in the morning.

Prime Minister: I started my day at 6 am and went to Jagannath Puri temple to offer my prayers. Since then I have been traveling and have at last got time to meet you.

 

Rana Yashwant: Where ever you go, Jagannath or Kashi, there is a sea of people that comes to greet you. You have experienced it yourself.

Prime Minister: I realise that my responsibilities are now increasing. I also see that the public has taken ownership of elections. Political parties are not fighting the elections. The public has taken ownership of this election. And the results will be as desired by the public.

Thank you!