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

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Jan 11, 2016 01:38 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves as he leaves after addressing the Indian community at Wembley stadium in London on November 13, 2015. (PTI File Photo)

The diaspora event at London’s Wembley Stadium on November 13 addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was frequently recounted at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) celebrations in the Indian high commission on Saturday, with a minister saying British politicians were “taking notes on what we could learn”.

Shailesh Vara, a justice minister in the David Cameron government, told the gathering of leading people of Indian origin that he and his colleagues were at the stadium and were taking notes on “how to win the next election”.

Vara hoped India would soon allow British lawyers to practice there.

The event last year, which attracted nearly 60,000 people, was unprecedented in the history of British politics, where a gathering of a thousand or few thousand is considered a good turnout.

The acting high commissioner, Varinder Paul, said henceforth the “big” PBD event in India will be held once in two years, while it will normally be held in the Indian missions in various countries.

Read | Modi’s Wembley spectacle impresses UK press amidst ‘pariah’ theme

January 9 was chosen as the day for PBD as it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the “greatest Pravasi”, returned home from South Africa to lead India’s freedom struggle.

The webcast by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on the day was watched here. She said the government was considering issuing Aadhaar cards to non-resident Indians and Overseas Citizens of India.

Presentations were made on various aspects of contemporary India, such as on doing business, education, health and social media. Raj Loomba, a member of the House of Lords, called for as much attention to providing security to women as on building smart cities in India.

The gathering was attended by MPs Bob Blackman, Virendra Sharma, Alok Sharma and leading British Indians such as Pratik Dattani, Manoj Ladwa, Shitij Kapoor, Jaffer Kapasi.

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

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