Bahrain is an important ally of India, and the home government will extend all support towards the kingdom’s progress and prosperity, said former Indian Vice President Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu. The 74-year-old senior politician said he was leaving ‘impressed’ at Bahrain’s hospitality as well as the support it extends to the Indian community.
Mr Naidu, who hails from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, was in Bahrain for a two-day visit to take part in the silver jubilee celebrations of the Telugu Kala Samiti, Bahrain. In an exclusive interview with Bahrain This Week, Mr Naidu expressed his happiness about the community’s efforts in preserving Indian culture, language, and traditions while living away from their home country.
“The Indian community in Bahrain consists of a large number of individuals who have migrated to the country in search of better livelihood opportunities,” said Mr Naidu. “Despite being miles away from their motherland, they have managed to maintain a strong connection to their roots.”
Mr Naidu, the 13th Vice President of India (2017–2022), highlighted the significance of retaining one’s mother tongue and culture for better understanding and creative expression. He emphasised the importance of staying connected with one’s motherland, as well as other Indian languages and traditions, while also respecting and abiding by the rules and regulations of the host country.
“I am happy and grateful to the Bahraini government for its support and care towards the Indian community,” said Mr Naidu, commending the kingdom’s efforts in providing a nurturing environment for its expatriate population.
He emphasised India’s belief in universal brotherhood, highlighting the positive relations between Bahrain and India.
He also commended Bahrain’s progress and assured the nation of India’s support in its journey forward.
“In a small nation like Bahrain, yet with a rich culture, the small (Telugu) community is upholding their culture without forgetting their roots, which is impressive,” he said.
“I go home with a great impression—the hospitality of the kingdom and the support that it extends to our community, as well as the way the nation is progressing.” He emphasised the commitment of the Indian embassy in Bahrain to provide all necessary assistance for Bahrain’s progress.
Highlighting the significance of Bahrain in India’s diplomatic relationships, Mr Naidu noted that in the span of two weeks, both India’s former President and Vice President have paid visits to the country. “This demonstrates the importance India places on its relationship with Bahrain.”
Former Indian President Ram Nath Kovind recently visited Bahrain. The three-day visit was organised by the Sree Narayana Cultural Society, Gurudeva Social Society, and Guru Seva Samiti Bahrain Billawas as part of the 169th birth anniversary of Sree Narayana Guru. The celebration titled “Bahrain’s Vision of the Confluence of Cultures and the Spirit of Humanism” was a tribute to the vision of His Majesty King Hamad and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, of a tolerant and harmonious socio-religious ethos that defines Bahraini society. Also visiting were Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar and Brahmasree Swami Satchithnanda president of the Sivagiri Mutt. Mr Naidu further expressed his belief that there will be more highlevel visits between the two nations in the near future, indicating the growing partnership and exchange between India and Bahrain.
Mr Naidu is the first Indian vice president born in an independent India. He has also served as the Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Urban Development, Information, and Broadcasting in the Narendra Modi Cabinet. He has also served as the national president of the Bahrathiya Janata Party from 2002 to 2004. Earlier, he was the Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development.
“We are extremely proud and happy to have such an esteemed guest, our Telugu pride, Sri Naidu garu, for our silver jubilee celebrations,” said Telugu Kala Samiti president Hari Babu Thakkellapati.
“We take this opportunity to thank the Bahrain government and the Indian Embassy for supporting us in this initiative.”