Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, the third day of his visit to Malaysia, highlighted the cultural ties of India with this southeast nation as he inaugurated a Torana gate, a traditional gateway to Hindu and Buddhist temples, here.
“This Torana is not merely a piece of art on stone. This is connecting the two nations and illustrates the two great cultures,” he said while jointly inaugurating the Torana gate with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak at Brickfields, popularly known as Little India here.
Modi said the gate was first made by emperor Ashoka in Madhya Pradesh and was dedicated to Lord Buddha.
Razak described the gate as a symbol of India-Malaysia friendship.
“Torana Gate is a symbol of India-Malaysia friendship. It offers a gateway to one of the oldest civilisations,” he said.
Stating that the message of Lord Buddha reverberated across Asia, Modi said the newly inaugurated Torana gate was a milestone in India’s relations with Malaysia.
“I am sure ties between India and Malaysia will be stronger and deeper in the times to come,” he said.
“The inauguration of the Torana gate shows India-Malaysia ties are not only economical but also cultural.”
The gate in Kuala Lumpur is inspired by the design of the Sanchi Stupa and the entire cost of its construction was borne by India.
Of Malaysia’s total population of nearly 30 million, two million people are of Indian origin.