It is important to appreciate a good act and call out the cynics. By cynics I mean some known journalists placing the humanitarian act of the UAE government of donating a 100 million dollars (around Rs 700 crore) towards the relief and rebuild operations of Kerala as announced by the Chief Minister of Kerala as an act towards Islamic conversions.
The insinuations thrown at the UAE government is that the announced money is to fund the Islamic conversion agenda. This is probably the most absurd, illogical and damaging statement to be made by some known journalists and social media trolls. It is an absolute insult to the friendly relationship that UAE and India share and have shared for decades now.
I have grown up in UAE. I have seen the struggles, sacrifices and hard work, Indians especially Keralites have put in, to create a mark from themselves in a foreign nation. Indians who have contributed to the UAE have been respected and appreciated. This respect further percolates to the relationship between the two nations. It has made it formidable and commendable.
UAE as a nation is not a hardline Islamic nation with no respect to other religions or people from other countries because they have understood the importance to follow a more accommodating path of governance than being forceful on matters of religion. If they were hardliners, you will not have one of the largest temples in the Middle East region being built in the capital Emirate – Abu Dhabi.
Media has been reporting that a lobby of Keralite businessmen had reached out to UAE rulers for assistance. I find these reports strange and alarming, because UAE businessmen of their own accounts donated close to AED 26 million to Kerala Relief operations.
Today a nation goes beyond its relationship and reaches to our nation in particular to the people of a state that constitutes a very important part of their expat demographics in a humanitarian act and some have the cynicism to call it a cover-up for Islamic conversions.
Show me where in UAE itself have the rulers or clerics promoted conversion to Islam. Show me where in Kerala has UAE funded conversions of Hindus or Christians to Islam. I am emphasising on UAE. That is not UAE’s intent. It is a nation that has grown beyond that, thats why many choose UAE as a place to work and reside from many other nations in the Gulf and in the world.
The problem with some of Indians is that in our myopic vision we do not see the truth of cordial relationships between nations. UAE is a friend of India and has always been one. Indians have thrived and helped UAE grow.
Today a nation like UAE has even the humanity to have an amnesty programme for those who have stayed illegally in the country for varied reasons. Many Indians who were staying illegally would have had to pay fines in millions of dirhams or face jail are availing of the amnesty initiative. Even America considered to be a developed and protectors of human rights never shows such acts of humanity to illegal immigrants.
I am extremely proud of the efforts of the rulers of UAE and even more proud of the Indians in UAE endeavouring with their little donations to provide relief and rebuild Kerala again, that witnessed a worst devastation, not seen in over a 100 years.
But more than all that, I am extremely proud of our thousands of Indians who have by sheer determination and dedication created an impressionable mark for themselves in UAE and have earned their respect.