Justin Trudeau goes desi: Canadian PM performs puja, promotes diversity in Toronto Hindu temple

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau attended the 10th anniversary of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto on Sunday, hailed the temple as an "architectural masterpiece" and a "place for communal harmony".

Donning a traditional blue kurta and pajama along with a flower garland draped on his neck, Trudeau participated in the rituals and celebrations in the temple. Trudeau and his official Twitter account shared pictures on social media, which were received positively by the Indian community.

ANI reports that the celebrations were also attended by former Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson and current Indian ambassador to Canada, Vikas Swarup.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau at the 10th Anniversary event of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto. Twitter/CanadianPM

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau at the 10th Anniversary event of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto. Twitter/CanadianPM

Prior to this event, Mahant Swami Maharaj received a key to the City of Toronto from Mayor John Tory on Saturday. According to CBC News Mahant Swami Maharaj is the sixth spiritual guru of Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), an organisation based on Hindu principles, which has hosted several charitable events in the city, including walkathons, disaster relief operations and blood donation drives.

The report adds that Trudeau commended the diversity that this landmark adds to the nation.

"How remarkable and fitting it is that when visitors come to Canada through our largest airport, Pearson International, one of the first Canadian sights people see off Highway 427 is this mandir," said Trudeau, adding "I for one could not be more proud."

"I am honoured to recognise his Holiness' global and Toronto-based humanitarian, charitable, and community-building efforts through BAPS Charities Canada. His Holiness' great contributions have enriched Toronto," Mayor Tory said in a statement.

BAPS is a socio-spiritual Hindu organisation with its roots in the Vedas. According to its website, its universal work through a global network of 3,850 centres has received many national and international awards and even an affiliation with the United Nations.

With inputs from agencies. 

Updated Date: Jul 23, 2017 14:54 PM

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