Local MP Maria Miller joined Councillor Arun Mummalaneni and other members of Basingstoke’s Hindu community at the Balaji Kalyanam gathering held at Queen Mary College on Thursday. In QMCs Hall Maria joined prayers for the continued prosperity and well-being of our nation under the guidance of a senior Hindu Priest from the Balaji Temple in Tirumala Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Maria said, “It is a great privilege to join so many local Basingstoke residents to mark this important event in the Hindu calendar. I was so warmly welcomed, and privileged to receive a blessing from the Priest as part of his prayers for the prosperity of our country.
"Coming together for events such as this gives us an opportunity to show respect for each other’s religious belief, and acknowledge the importance we attach to being part of a diverse community. Over the years I have seen how members of the Hindu community value strong communities, including when I was one of their volunteers distributing food to local Nepalese families during the height of the Pandemic. I believe that being respectful to all makes us a nicer and fairer place to live for everyone.”
Cllr Arun Mummalaneni added, "The sacred visit of Tirumala Tirupati, one of the world's wealthiest and most revered temples, brings a profound sense of prosperity and unity to our community. We are deeply honoured by their return to Basingstoke and grateful for the support of our MP in celebrating this auspicious occasion".
The Telugu Association who organised this event plays an important role in Basingstoke community life, having organised extensive community support during the pandemic, running IT classes for children and supporting members of the Indian community when they first arrive in the UK.