Abu Dhabi: RJD Chief Lalu Yadav’s political fortune is down but he is surely not out. At least not in the Gulf country United Arab Emirates. In Ras al-Khaimah (RAK), one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, people have named a city roundabout after Mr Lalu Prasad.
The people there, in popular parlance, call the road roundabout “Lalu Chowk” as at the centre of it there stands a giant lantern. Though the concrete giant lantern was erected to mark the journey of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama through the Gulf of Mannar, the roundabout got the new name because of the expatriate Indian labourers, most of whom are from Bihar. They identify Mr Lalu Prasad with the “lantern” as it is the election symbol of his party, the Rashtriya Janta Dal, and have thus nicknamed it “Lalu Chowk”.
The roundabout from where the road goes to Fujairah, another emirate of the UAE, was constructed to mark Vasco da Gama’s journey to India through the Gulf of Mannar during which the people of the Ras al-Khaimah region helped him find his way to the Indian Ocean. Fujairah is situated in the east of the UAE, facing the Indian Ocean. However, of late, as expatriate workers, particularly from the eastern parts of India, started coming to RAK, they found special meaning in the “lantern” and started calling it Lalu Chowk. “Initially the locals were bewildered, but as the number of workers from that part of India increased the name was informally established even among the locals.