Identifying a “common faith in pluralism” as one of the foundations of India-UK relationship, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that he is looking forward to his visit here this week “with anticipation and excitement”.
Modi contributed an article to The Sunday Times titled ‘India’s bond with Britain is helping both nations prosper’. He is scheduled to arrive in UK on a three-day visit on 12 November, in the first visit by an Indian prime minister in nearly a decade.
Calling Britain a “special partner”, Modi wrote that 1.5 million British Indians constituted an “indelible human bond” between the two countries. He is scheduled address the diaspora at the Wembley Stadium on 13 November in an event described as “Olympic-style”.
“Our relationship addresses the aspirations of our societies and the needs of our times in a significant measure. Britain outranks nearly every country in the world in its investment in India, and Indians invest more in Britain than in the rest of European Union combined”.
“We are creating the human resources of the future, seeking solutions to food and health security, and addressing emerging challenges such as climate change. Our security agencies are collaborating to keep our cities safe, our citizens secure and our cyber-networks protected”.
“Our defence cooperation enhances our confidence in standing up for our values.
I see great promise and potential in our relationship ahead. Britain’s economic resurgence is impressive. Its culture of innovation in technology and services sustains its leadership in many areas”, Modi wrote.
Detailing several steps his government had undertaken since coming to office in May 2014, Modi wrote that Britain was seen as a “special partner” in every aspect of India’s national endeavour and international pursuits.
“Since the scale of our transformation is vast, the size of the opportunities in India is huge. As two innovative societies and vibrant economies, we have unlimited possibilities to build partnerships of prosperity and sustainability – all in the context of a strong political relationship and the comfort of deep familiarity,” he wrote.
‘Hello Namaste’ song for PM visit
‘Hello-Namaste’, a special song created for the visit of PM Modi, was released here, as posters in Underground stations and a ‘Modi Express’ bus sent welcome messages around London.
Supporters and opponents of Modi’s three-day visit from November 12 were active as Scotland Yard reiterated that an ‘appropriate policing plan’ was in place to deal with any situation.
Protestors at 10, Downing Street and parliament square, will include five Indian doctors in surgical gowns and white coats, but it will be to highlight alleged victimisation and discrimination of Indian doctors in Britain’s National Health Service.
The song has been sung by Kanika Kapoor and composed by Keerti Mathur. It was released at an event called ‘Hi Chai!’ in London.
Critics organised a ‘Reclaim Diwali’ event over the weekend, described as a “secular celebration of shared cultures”.