Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 23 May 2022 7.36 AM IST

India's dear friend


The demise of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, who led the UAE into a new era, is an irreparable loss to the world. He was a Head of State who showed great love for India and especially for Kerala. He was generous enough to contribute a portion of their achievements irrespective of caste, creed, creed or colour.

What sets Sheikh Khalifa apart from other rulers is his unparalleled love and compassion for fellow beings.

That mercy flowed without looking across borders to countries in need. Sheikh Khalifa became President of the UAE in 2004, following the death of his father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Father of the Nation and first President of the UAE. Sheikh Khalifa, who broke down the barriers of conservative thought, quickly became a powerful ruler. He was committed to reforming the country to keep pace with the changes of the times while preserving the sacredness of religion and customs. As soon as he came to power, he made history by implementing women representation in the cabinet. Sheikh Khalifa also appointed the first woman judge in the country. He also did not hesitate to ensure 30 per cent representation of women in high positions in government. He suggested that more women should enter the business world and give them all the incentives. His vision was to make human life beautiful. Even developed countries were shocked by the establishment of special ministries for tolerance and happiness for the first time in the world.

Sheikh Khalifa focused on ensuring better living conditions in the UAE for foreigners along with the citizens of the country and accelerating development activities. His projects in the field of social service were extended to the expatriates who came to the UAE from India. Malayalees working there see the UAE as their home. Citizens of more than 200 countries, including India, who have made a living, cannot see the UAE as a foreign country. This view is based on the culture that Sheikh Khalifa nurtured and embraced everyone.

Like his father, he was a ruler who maintained great affection for Indians. Sheikh Khalifa not only maintained strategic cooperation with India, including in the field of defense, but also took the initiative to invite India as the Chief Guest at the International Conference of Islamic Nations in the UAE, overcoming Pakistan's opposition. He had promised great assistance to Kerala during the floods.

Sheikh Khalifa was a practitioner of secular thought. He gave support for the construction of a Hindu temple in the UAE. Spread over an area of ​​27 acres, this temple complex is the first stone temple in the Middle East. This is the biggest example of the UAE's secular stance. Burj Dubai, the tallest tower in the world, was named Burj Khalifa in his honor. Sheikh Khalifa had a bigger heart than the building itself. Tributes to India's dear friend.

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