I draw inspiration, comfort from my Hindu faith: UK PM Rishi Sunak at Neasden Temple

I draw inspiration, comfort from my Hindu faith: UK PM Rishi Sunak at Neasden Temple

With just days to go before his hectic election campaign to win over votes comes to an end on July 4, Britain’s first Hindu Prime Minister made a historic visit to the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, popularly known as Neasden Temple, over the weekend.

Rishi Sunak was joined by wife Akshata Murty as the couple were greeted by senior community leaders and priests, who performed the traditional welcome ceremony at the steps of one of the most iconic temples in the UK. The couple were then led into the majestic mandir for a grand tour and to marvel at its architecture, offer prayers and perform abhishek.

Yogvivekdas Swami, Head Swami of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in the UK and Europe, offered the welcome address: “It is a matter of great pride for the British Hindu community to have seen a practising Hindu and his family become residents at No. 10. We have all watched with pride and joy when you and your family have marked Hindu festivals in a traditional way at Downing Street and how you talk about the inspiration you drove from our Hindu dharma and the universal values that it has taught you.

“You have really raised the bar for the children in our community. It is now no longer enough to become just a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant because Indian parents across the country are now saying you can also become Prime Minister.”

Sunak, who entered to a rockstar welcome from the large temple gathering waiting patiently for the special visit, was showered with blessings and good wishes for the election as he interacted with mandir volunteers and community leaders. In his address, who called on voters to back his Conservative Party colleagues contesting in the north London constituencies – including Bob Blackman from Harrow East and Ameet Jogia from Hendon.

In his address to the gathering, he said: “I am Hindu and like all of you, I draw inspiration and comfort from my faith. I was proud to be sworn in as a member of Parliament on the ‘Bhagavad Gita’.

“Our faith teaches us to do our duty and not fret about the outcome as long as one does it faithfully. That is what I was brought up to believe by my wonderful and loving parents and that is how I live my life; and that is what I want to pass on to my daughters as they grow up. It is dharma which guides me in my approach to public service.”

In a direct appeal to the British Hindu community, he added: “You have been with me every step of the way. On the hardest days in this job, I have felt your backing. And I know the pride that there is to have a British Asian Prime Minister and I am determined to never let you down.” 


I draw inspiration, comfort from my Hindu faith: UK PM Rishi Sunak at Neasden Temple
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