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In a first, Diwali lights illuminate London Eye

The Light Up London ceremony was dedicated to the victims of the recent terror attacks in Britain and the Grenfell Tower fire.

world Updated: Oct 16, 2017 18:00 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Diwali,London Eye,high commissioner YK Sinha
The London Eye lit up with Diwali lights.(HT Photo)

For the first time, the iconic London Eye along the Thames was lit up with Diwali lights on Sunday night, after Indian high commissioner YK Sinha pressed a button on a nearby ship.

The Diwali lights “switch-on ceremony” has been institutionalised for several years in the city of Leicester, which has a large community of Indian origin. However, this was the first such occasion in London.

Several members of the Indian community joined Sinha on the Tattershall Castle ship, including Labour MP Tanmanjit Singh Dhesi, House of Lords member Meghnad Desai and leading figures in the film and television industries such as Meera Syal, Gurinder Chadha and Nitin Ganatra.

Sinha said that in difficult times, the festival of Diwali, with its message of victory of good over evil, of light over darkness and of hope over despair, assumes special significance and has come to be celebrated by the global community.

Indian high commissioner YK Sinha (centre) at the ceremony in London on Sunday night. Also seen are actress Meera Syal (extreme left) and House of Lords member Meghnad Desai (extreme right). (HT Photo)

The Light Up London ceremony at London Eye was dedicated to the victims of the recent terror attacks in Britain and the Grenfell Tower fire.

Organiser Pranav Bhanot said: “We believe it is important to dedicate the festival which marks the victory of good over evil to the victims of recent challenging events. Nevertheless, the festival should also celebrate the strength, resilience and bravery of the British public.”

Sunday also saw a day-long Diwali celebration in Trafalgar Square, organised by the London mayor’s office.

This was the second such ceremony in Britain in a week after Diwali lights were lit in Leicester’s Belgrave Road.

First Published: Oct 16, 2017 18:00 IST