Swraj Paul has strengthened India-UK relations: Brown | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Swraj Paul has strengthened India-UK relations: Brown

“No family has done more for Britain and for India than the Paul family,” said Gordon Brown, who was Britain’s prime minister from 2007 to 2010 and chancellor of the exchequer from 1997 to 2007.

world Updated: Jul 03, 2017 21:58 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Former prime minister Gordon Brown with industrialist Swraj Paul (centre) at an event in London on Sunday.
Former prime minister Gordon Brown with industrialist Swraj Paul (centre) at an event in London on Sunday. (HT Photo)

Former prime minister Gordon Brown on Sunday recalled prominent London-based industrialist Swraj Paul’s work over the years and said it had contributed not only to British society but also helped strengthen relations between India and the United Kingdom.

Brown joined diplomats, MPs and leading individuals from various fields at the London Zoo for the annual memorial event Paul has held since 1994; initially in memory of his daughter Ambika, who died in 1968 aged 4, and now also in memory of his son Angad, who died in 2015 at 45.

Brown, who was prime minister from 2007 to 2010 and chancellor of the exchequer from 1997 to 2007, said: “No family has done more for Britain and for India than the Paul family. I knew Angad well; his achievements were remarkable”.

A member of the House of Lords since 1996, Paul, 86, thanked Brown and his wife, Sarah Brown, for their emotional support over the years, and recalled the short lives of Ambika and Angad, two of his five children.

“Ambika was an angel who changed our lives…In Angad’s short life, he accomplished so much that was visionary and so much that was innovative beyond the conventions of his background.  His diversity of interests was amazing – film, furniture, automobile design, hospitality ventures and many others,” Paul said.

Recalling that Angad was his only child not born in India, Paul said he loved the country and was closely involved in growing his business there. As many as 25 factories were built in 10 years in India under Angad’s stewardship, he added.

The event was attended by India’s high commissioner to the UK, Y K Sinha, India’s ambassador to Sweden, Monika Kapil Mohta, member of the House of Lords, Karan Bilimoria, and India’s former chief election commissioner, SY Quraishi, among others.

The annual event is held at the London Zoo, which was rescued from bankruptcy by a £1 million donation by Paul in 1993. Set within the sylvan Regent’s Park in central London, the zoo attracts a large number of visitors and tourists, particularly during the summer.