The Indian Congress unit in London has said it will not disrespect the office of the Indian prime minister by demonstrating against Modi on foreign soil. After that, it has proceeded to ‘dis’ the event as an interference in India’s internal affairs.
“For foreign nationals, who either have a communal bias or are ignorant about India, to fete Modi when the communal situation in India is highly disturbing and clearly the mood of the country has turned against him, would be an insult to the people of the country,” the Indian Overseas Congress (London) stated in a letter to the Europe India Forum, organisers of the event.
“It would also be an unacceptable attempt to influence Indians from abroad (by holding talks with David Cameron or holding such a function at Wembley?) and consequently an interference in the internal affairs of India,” the letter said.
Compare that tenor to British PM David Cameron’s Diwali message:
“Families are coming together, lights are being strung up, the food is going in the oven – Diwali is upon us once again.
“As the celebrations get underway, from London to Leicester, Glasgow to Gwent, Bristol to Birmingham, I want to send out my very best wishes to everyone celebrating the Festival of Lights.
“This is a great moment in our national calendar and an opportunity to shine a light on the communities who do so much to make Britain great.
“In every walk of life, in every corner of our country you can see the immense contribution of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. Whether it is treating patients in our NHS, teaching children in our schools, building the businesses that boost our economy, keeping our streets safe in the police and armed forces – all the while helping to make Britain what we are so proud to be: the greatest multi-racial democracy on earth.”
What of the big Wembley party?
It’s going to be one lonnnnnngggg event with over 16 performances, including The Royal Ballet and the London Philharmonic.
The organisers, UKWelcomesModi, dispatched performers and artistes in full costume to deliver a personalised ticket to Prime Minister David Cameron at Downing Street, extending an invitation to attend the biggest reception for any Indian Prime Minister outside the subcontinent.
The reception taking place on Friday – the biggest for any foreign elected leader on British soil – will include an Olympics-style stage production ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic Wembley Stadium address.
Artists performing on the iconic Wembley Stadium stage include a combination of community and professional acts, brought together in collaboration to celebrate the best of Britain and Indian under the theme ‘Two great nations, one glorious future’.
From classical and folk dance from across India and Europe, to pop music and a symphony orchestra, all performers on stage will proudly showcase their skill and art, as representatives from the British Indian diaspora in the United Kingdom. Dressed in full costume, artistes meeting Cameron included International British Indian chart-topping artist, Jay Sean; Bharatanatyam dancer Geeta Sridhar; Bhangra dancer Pranav Bhanot; Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band bag pipe player Parimal Vekaria; and British National Anthem singer Patricia Rozario OBE.
Other main acts set to perform to the 70-000 strong crowd on Friday include Sona Rele, a Mowtown Records artist who grew up only a stone’s throw away from Wembley Stadium. Her hit song ‘Strong’ from the blockbuster “Cinderella” soundtrack will be performed. Bollywood singer, Kanika Kapoor, who lives in London and was born in Lucknow will also be present, singing the UKWelcomesModi theme song – Hello-Namaste!
As many as 55 singers, over 270 dancers, over 155 musicians and a choir of 180 children, all supported by hundreds of community volunteers will also grace the stage.
Programme Directors Keerti Mathur and Niravta Mathur said: “The show will take us from the ancient civilization of India that brought about deep and profound practices that influence our lives today, like yoga and meditation, through to a contemporary and vibrant India that is diverse, optimistic and highly collaborative."
Representing different elements of the planned Wembley stage production, the performers gave the British Prime Minister an update of the community reception on Friday.
They said, “We are really proud to be inviting the Prime Minister to this reception celebrating the relationship between the UK and India, as well as the contribution of the Indian diaspora to the UK."
Updated Date: Nov 12, 2015 12:31:16 IST