Boris Johnson, Priti Patel visit Neasden BAPS Mandir on Diwali

London: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson celebrated Diwali festival at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, popularly known as the ‘Neasden Temple.’ He was accompanied by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Johnson was greeted in a traditional manner with auspicious marks of welcome before he was taken on a brief tour of the stone temple complex, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha said in a statement. This was the fifth visit of PM Boris Johnson to the temple.

Home Secretary Priti Patel joined PM Johnson to offer a fruit basket at the central shrine of the temple’s inner sanctum, where they also spent several minutes absorbing the peace and appreciating the intricate architecture.   

The dignitaries also visited the exhibits summarising Neasden Temple’s Covid-19 relief efforts inspired by Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.  He had issued a call in March 2020 for all BAPS volunteers to serve the elderly, needy and vulnerable in the local communities, and to make sure that everyone remains informed, safe, and supported throughout the pandemic.

PM Johnson and secretary Patel also met volunteers who prepared and delivered food to the vulnerable, and the teams which kept communities connected and informed through online services. PM Boris Johnson lauded the efforts of Neasden Temple terming it as, “An absolutely perfect representation of community spirit in action.”

In his address on the occasion, PM Johnson said, “What his Holiness has contributed to the United Kingdom has been incalculable. I have been here many times, but I do not think I have ever been here at a time when the Neasden Temple has been so central to the life of the whole of the London community.”  

Patel appreciated the incredible effort of BAPS and Neasden temple. “The temple has been at the forefront of every single activity in the local community, but also at a time of a national crisis as the pandemic was.”  

Image courtesy of (Image courtesy: Twitter/UKinIndia)

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