India’s President Narendra Modi is set to visit the Dalai Lama Temple in Kerala next month, with speculation swirling that he will use his visit to commemorate the temple’s martyrs in a controversial visit to a remote Hindu temple in Kerala’s Malappuram district, which he has previously described as a “sham”.
The visit comes as Mr Modi is battling with several political opponents over the controversial visit.
The Indian government has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident, but the Indian Express has reported that Mr Modi’s team is in discussions with officials in Kerala over a possible joint visit to the temple.
The newspaper reported that the two sides are in the process of finalising details for the visit.
“Modi has always been a fervent supporter of Dalai, his birthplace, and he is certainly not going to be shy about celebrating the lives of martyrs of the Hindu faith,” the newspaper quoted the unnamed official as saying.
According to reports, Mr Modi has already said that the visit will be a “blessing” to India.
The president, who was inaugurated on April 25, is also likely to discuss the ongoing Indian Ocean earthquake, and the country’s response to it.
He has previously called the earthquake a “disaster” and said India was ready to help with the response.
Mr Modi’s controversial visit comes just weeks after the government announced plans to build a temple to the goddess Kali in the southern state of Kerala, the birthplace of his late mother, who died in 1975.
The government has already made efforts to build the temple in recent months, but local people have opposed the plans.
Mr Dalai is believed to be a Hindu deity, and is revered for her beauty, longevity and miraculous ability.
She is also revered for the ability to transform into a human being at will, but it is believed that she has two children.