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Reflecting on PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Abu Dhabi for the opening of BAPS Temple, Dr Jagdeesh Chandra stresses that no leader other than Modi, has been given a grand welcome, how his popularity and personal connect with world leaders has resulted in acceptance in Islamic nations too, how Modi is fulfilling the Indian ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. Excerpts...

  • With the opening of a BAPS Temple in Abu Dhabi, a one-line, ‘A new craze in Arabian dunes,’ is being used. What is your take on it?
    Dr Jagdeesh Chandra:
    It is correct as there is a new craze about Narendra Modi in Arabian dunes, that is the Muslim world. He has proved that he is a ‘Global Leader.’ He has an almost similar following in other countries as he has in India. In the past 15 years, no leader has ever been accorded such a grand welcome and honour as Narendra Modi. The reason for this is the ‘credibility’ of Modi. The people there actually like Modi. So, it can be said that Modi is like a gush of fresh air in the Arabian desert.
  • How is it that Modi, who represents Hindu politics, is equally popular in an Islamic nation as he is in India?
    It is nothing short of a miracle. It is a ‘Godgiven gift’ to him that where ever he goes, he connects with the local populace. And this is why, when he visits any nation of the world, bizarre things happen; for example, one nation’s premier called him ‘The Boss’, another premier asks for his autograph and yet another even touched his feet. So what has transpired over the past few days, is an extension of this. The palpable happiness and excitement weren’t confined to just the NRI community; even locals eagerly anticipated catching a glimpse of Modi. It’s remarkable how Modi commands such fervent support even in an Islamic nation.
  • Islam does not allow praying to idols. But in UAE which is an Islamic nation, a Hindu Temple has been constructed and PM Modi inaugurated the Temple. How did this come to be?
    This is a ‘Daivik-Shakti’. There seems to be a ‘divine’ influence guiding Narendra Modi. It’s almost unfathomable to envision the construction of a Hindu Temple in an Islamic nation, yet it has become a reality under his leadership. So many idols have been installed in the Temple, and this has happened due to Narendra Modi. Interestingly, the Hindu fanatics are not questioning Modi why he is hugging the premier of an Islamic nation. But this is the credibility of Modi that the people of the nation impose trust and faith in him that whatever he will do, will be in the national interest of India and that is why, all of his decisions are viewed in parlance of being above political lines. Similarly, if you look at the premier of UAE, the people there aren’t questioning him as to why is he hugging Modi. So in totality, this is a miracle and it is the victory of Modi’s new diplomacy policy. He doesn’t walk on the dotted line framework of foreign policy, but goes beyond it. He has redefined foreign policy and does so keeping in mind the national interest of India. Not only India and the UAE, but even major global powers like Russia and America find themselves astonished by the unprecedented closeness and mutual honour between two state leaders. This phenomenon underscores Modi’s magnetic charisma, unwavering credibility, and remarkable popularity among the masses.
  • How has India’s philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or ‘the world is one family’ fulfilled through Modi?
    It has been realised because Modi has stressed that the Temple is not the representative of a religion or a nation, but of the entire world family. If we look at it, the work to provide land for the Temple has been done by an Islamic nation, the foundation has been laid by a Buddhist and the chief contractor is a Parsi and the architect is a Christian. In essence, the construction of the temple transcends the realms of India and the UAE. It symbolises a concerted effort to unite all civilisations worldwide. This grand endeavour resonates deeply with Narendra Modi’s vision encapsulated in the tagline ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’, emphasising inclusivity and development for all.
  • Dharma-Dhwaja in Islamic nation has been a super hit headline in the media. But what does it mean?
    Truly, it’s nothing short of a miraculous occurrence. The headline itself encapsulates the enchanting journey of the temple, shrouded in m a g i c and mystery right from inception to fruition.
  • Several unique things happened about the Temple. For one, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed broke the protocol to welcome PM Modi and received him at the Abu Dhabi airport. What is your take on this development?
    It is not a new thing for both these leaders. Modi too has broken the protocol several times. I think Shaikh Zayed has visited India four times and Modi has visited UAE seven times and whenever these two meet, they break the protocol. This is their ‘chemistry’ beyond foreign policy. Their frequent encounters over the years, have cultivated a deep rapport and mutual respect, which shines through in their interactions.
  • How does it happen that people turn up in huge numbers to listen to Modi?
    It is miraculous. Modi’s entire life journey is replete with miracles. There was so much excitement to listen to Modi that about 70,000 people turned up at the venue to hear him. I believe there must be another 10,000 or 15,000 people outside the venue too, and thus, a staggering crowd of 85,000 had gathered. It is said that there are about 35 lakh Indians in the entire UAE. It felt as though not just the UAE, but the entirety of India as a nation had converged at the venue. This magical tale adds yet another chapter to the ever-growing list of enchanting stories from Modi’s journey.
  • When PM Modi reached the programme, he spoke in four South Indian languages. What do you think was Modi’s thought behind this?
    The underlying motive was to foster national unity and strengthen the bond with India’s diaspora. By delivering a few sentences in Arabic, Modi aimed to resonate with the significant population of Indians from the southern regions residing in the UAE. His decision to speak in multiple languages reflects his inclusive vision, transcending any ‘NorthSouth’ divide, and symbolising his representation of all of India. This effort to bridge linguistic and cultural divides deserves recognition, as it requires dedicated time, study, understanding, and rehearsal of various languages. Such endeavours exemplify a sincere commitment to bringing nations and people closer together.
  • What is your take on the multitude of social media posts by PM Modi regarding this visit?
    The posts were emotional and were replete with self-respect. At first he said that he worships ‘Maa Bharati.’ Secondly, he said that this is not just a Temple, but a representative of ‘Sabka Sath-Sabka Vikas’ thought. Then he said that he had brought with him the fragrance of India. He added that he had come amidst his family. He reminisced the year 2015 and said that it had just been a year since he became the PM and during his visit, all five brothers, including the President of UAE, reached to welcome him, so this is Modi’s magic.
  • We have seen how close Modi and Shaikh Zayed are. But is there any political ambition on Zayed’s part to promulgate this friendship?
    The political agenda is that it creates a perception. A huge number of Indians live in UAE, and have their businesses, trade, and investments. So it creates an environment regarding the leadership in that nation and their hold over the nation becomes strong. If there are lakhs of Indians living in UAE and if that nation’s premier hugs Modi and extends a warm welcome to him, then it disseminates a message to the people and this brings the Indian community closer to the Arabs. This brings the two communities closer and as leaders, they get politically empowered. Hence, it could be inferred that further political empowerment of Shaikhs within the Indian community, may indeed be part of their agenda.

During the show #ModiCrazeinArabianDunes trended top All-India on X

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