Modi, Cameron to address Wembley-style event in Goa next year?

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Jan 12, 2016 10:15 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves as he leaves after addressing the Indian community at Wembley stadium in London in November (PTI File Photo)

One of the events proposed for the India-Britain Year of Culture 2017 is a Wembley-style event in Goa, with Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and David Cameron addressing an audience in the stadium at Dona Paula via a live video feed.

A series of events has been planned for the Year of Culture, announced during Modi’s London visit last November. These include a tour across India of the iconic texts of William Shakespeare’s First Folio and the Magna Carta.

The year-long festival is intended to celebrate the vibrant cultural history of the two countries, when top British institutions will partner Indian counterparts to strengthen ties and showcase creativity on the global stage.

Senior Labour MP Keith Vaz, who recently discussed the joint prime ministerial address with Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar, told Hindustan Times that the latter was “quite receptive” to holding the address before a youth concert by British and Indian performers.

Read | We were taking notes at Modi’s Wembley event, says British Minister

“Nobody can quite replicate Wembley, but it will be appropriate for the two prime ministers to address the event before the concert,” he said. A group of “British bhangra” performers is expected to participate in the concert.

The concert’s venue will be S P Mukherjee Stadium in Dona Paula, a major centre of tourism in Goa. The state has a significant number of British tourists and British diaspora, who have made Goa their home in recent years.

Vaz, the MP from Leciester East, spent Christmas in Goa and is planning to take a British football team to the state during the Year of Culture. “Ideally it can be the Leicester City team, which can hold training camps in Goa and play some games,” he said.

Read | In pics: Narendra Modi makes dazzling debut at Wembley stadium

He has also proposed a food festival in which five top chefs from Goa and London can showcase their culinary skills.

Announcing the Year of Culture during Modi’s visit, Cameron said: “The great partnership between India and the UK extends beyond economic ties to the boards of The Bard and the beaches of Bollywood. We have some of the best cultural exports in the world – and it’s about time we celebrated this, together.”

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