‘I am here today not as a Prime Minister, but as a Hindu,’ says U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak; concludes his address with the words ‘Jai Siya Ram’ at a ‘Ram Katha’ event.
U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, that his Hindu faith guides him in every aspect of his life and gives him the courage to do the best as the Prime Minister of Britain.
During a visit to the ongoing Ram Katha being conducted by spiritual leader Morari Bapu at Jesus College, University of Cambridge, Britain’s first Indian-origin Prime Minister highlighted the significance of the event coinciding with India’s Independence Day.
“Bapu, I am here today not as a Prime Minister, but as a Hindu,” said Mr. Sunak, opening his address at the gathering.
“For me, faith is very personal. It guides me in every aspect of my life. Being Prime Minister is a great honour, but it is not an easy job. There are difficult decisions to make, hard choices to confront and our faith gives me courage, strength, and resilience to do the best that I can for our country,” he said.
The 43-year-old leader shared the special moment when he first lit Diwali diyas outside No. 11 Downing Street as the first British Indian Chancellor in 2020.
Pointing to a large golden image of Lord Hanuman as the backdrop to Morari Bapu’s Ram Katha, the British prime minister said it reminded him of how a “golden Ganesha sits gleefully on my desk at 10 Downing Street”.
“It is a constant reminder to me about listening and reflecting on issues before acting,” he shared.
Mr. Sunak said he was proud to be British and Hindu as he reflected upon his childhood years in Southampton where he often visited his neighbourhood temple with family.
“Growing up, I have very fond memories of attending our local mandir in Southampton. My parents and family would organise havans, pujas, aartis; afterwards, I would help serve lunch and prasad with my brother and sister and cousins,” said Sunak.
“Our values and what I see Bapu does each day of his life are the values of selfless service, devotion and keeping faith. But perhaps the greatest value is duty or sewa, as we know it. These Hindu values are very much shared British values,” he noted.
Referencing his family’s immigrant history, Mr. Sunak noted how many among the hundreds gathered at the Katha had parents and grandparents who came to the UK with very little from India and East Africa and worked their way up to give his generation the greatest opportunities ever.
“Today, I want to say thank you to the generation who worked day and night for our education and our today… now is the time for our generation to give back,” he said.
“I leave here today remembering the ‘Ramayana’ that Bapu speaks on, but also the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ and the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’. And for me, Lord Ram will always be an inspirational figure to face life’s challenges with courage, to govern with humility and to work selflessly,” Mr. Sunak added.
The British PM concluded his address with the words ‘Jai Siya Ram’ and went on to participate in an aarti on stage, with Morari Bapu invoking the blessings of Lord Hanuman, seeking “boundless strength” to facilitate his service to the people of Britain.
Source: The Hindu