A large section of Indian diaspora living in the UK has made massive arrangements to host a grand reception in honour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Wembley Stadium on 13 November.
Over 60,000 people are expected to attend this special invitation only “Olympic style” event. Modi will be in UK from November 12-14.
UK is the host of around 1.6 Million people of Indian origin and it is claimed by the welcoming partners that it will be the largest reception any foreign head of government has ever received in the UK, according to Europe India Forum (EIF).
Although, Modi’s UK visit is also happening at a time when there is huge debate on increasing intolerance in india. A number of Indian writers and film personalities have returned their awards in protest of ‘Modi’s silence’ on alarming incidents such as Dadri Lynching, murder of Professor M M Kalburgi etc. These scholars have warned that freedom of expression is under threat and intolerance on the rise under the BJP government.
Modi will meet UK Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday around mid day and protesters will try to register their voice around 10 Downing Street and Parliament Square.
“Two Great Nations. One Glorious Future”
Special buses and coaches with the name of Modi Express have been arranged from various places to bring the visitors to the Wembley Arena on Friday and a dynamic website is set up to organise the event with the name of UK Welcomes Modi.
The Reception themed “Two Great Nations. One Glorious Future” will kick off with a specially produced cultural show featuring some of the very best British Indian artists.
Prime Minister Modi’s keynote address will be followed by what is expected to be the country’s largest fireworks display, as the visit coincides with the festival of Diwali.
Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum, business leaders, and personalities from the world of entertainment, art and culture are also expected to attend.
Although, a section of the Indian diaspora and other people having various kinds of interests attached with India have announced to stage a protest against Modi’s UK visit.
Professor Nath Puri, a founding member of EIF, said: “Prime Minister Modi has emerged as a iconic figure on the world stage. This Olympics style reception he will receive at Wembley stadium will not only reflect the respect and adulation he has within the British Indian community, but will highlight and celebrate his vision for a peaceful and prosperous India. It will bring together people from all communities and backgrounds in a mood of celebration of all that unites us as countries and people.”
Priti Patel MP, UK Minister for Employment and Prime Minister Cameron’s Indian Diaspora Champion said: “The UK Government places huge importance on the special relationship with India. Prime Minister Modi’s forthcoming visit and the community reception will only serve to strengthen the bond of friendship between our two great nations. I encourage as many community organisations to register their support.”
Virendra Sharma MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on India-UK relations said “The UK’s 1.5 million India diaspora are an excellent bridge between the UK and India. Prime Minister Modi has the largest democratic mandate in the history of the world. As a person of Indian origin, I am hugely looking forward to this defining moment where we can celebrate our democracies and shared values.”
Shamsuddin Agha, President of the Indian Muslim Federation said, “I am delighted that Narendra Modi, our Prime Minister, will be visiting the UK shortly. I have no doubt that it will strengthen the ties between our great nations. It will bring people closer than ever before. It will bolster trade and economic cooperation.
EIF is a not for profit company limited by guarantee, registered in the UK.