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UK Home Secretary praises Indians

"I appreciate the culture, civilisation and democratic qualities that exist among Indian community," Clarke said.

india Updated: Nov 16, 2005 11:14 IST

While wholeheartedly lauding the multi-dimensional contributions of the Indian community to British society, UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke has warned certain extremist groups trying to derail the democratic values in the country and said they would not succeed.

"Values of democracy are absolutely powerful. Those people who try to by-pass them will not succeed," said Clarke, who was the Chief Guest at the Diwali Banquet of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, UK,in London on Tuesdaynight.

"I appreciate the culture, civilisation and the democratic qualities that exist among the Indian community," he said, adding the Indian community, through hard work and dedication has made remarkable progress in the country.

The banquet was attended among others by Lord Swraj Paul, NRI Industrialist and British Ambassador for Overseas Business, SP Hinduja, Chairman of the Hinduja Group, Lord Navnit Dholakia, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, Sir Gulam Noon, Chief of Noon Products, Joginder Sanger, Leading NRI Hotelier and Vice Chairman of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Ranjan Mathai, Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK.

Kamalesh Sharma, High Commissioner of India to the UK said he was "very proud" of the Indian community in the UK.

Sharma appreciated the way the Indian community tried to provide better education and skills to their children than the one they had. And among the children, he said the girls of Indian origin were doing better than the boys.

"Within the family there is as much encouragement for daughters as to sons and together they all move forward," he said.

"The people of Indian origin here find Britain a great country which encourages merit and recognises skills open heartedly. There is respect for merit," Sharma said.

The High Commissioner said the Indo-British relations is a model for the rest and the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan has been a bridge between the peoples of India and the UK for many decades.

Lord Paul was all praise for Dr MN Nandakumara, Executive Director of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan for keeping the flag of the cultural centre flying.

Maneck Dalal, OBE, Chairman, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, UK, said during the last two years the Bhavan had been able to spend about£2.5 million for renovating and providing new facilities at the Bhavan's Centre.

He thanked the Millennium Commission and the Arts Council of Britain for liberal contributions.

First Published: Nov 16, 2005 10:47 IST