“Not Here As PM But A Hindu”: Rishi Sunak Attends Ram Katha At Cambridge

London: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who met renowned Ramayan ‘kathakar’ Morari Bapu at Cambridge University on Tuesday on the Indian Independence Day, said he was there “not as prime minister but as a Hindu”.

Sunak called himself a “proud British” and a “proud Hindu” as he addressed a gathering of people of Indian origin at the Jesus College which is hosting such an event for the first time to mark Morari Bapu’s 921st recital titled ‘Manas Vishwavidyalay’, said a release.

Sunak began his address with a “Jai Siya Ram” and said: “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 added 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 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 Mr 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.

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.

“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,” he added.

He 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.

Sunil Kumar Dhangadamajhi

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