Mr Modi is all set to board to the United Kingdom for a three-day visit. This visit is going to be as ceremonial as the solemnity. The high-profile visit comes just weeks after China’s president Xi Jinping had a splendid experience over there.
Modi will have a lunch with the Queen, and address a joint session at Parliament with David Cameron, after visiting the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament Square.
It is hoped that the trip – the first by an Indian prime minister to the UK in almost a decade – will yield billions of pounds in trade and investment deals.
Mr Modi will speak at a mass rally at Wembley Stadium. He will be introduced on stage by Cameron.
In total, 60,000 British Indians from 450 different community groups – Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and others – are expected to witness a rock star reception modelled over the Olympic opening ceremony, and almost matching it in ambition.
Modi will be preceded at the free concert by an arts programme featuring 800 performers, including the Indian singing star Kanika Kapoor, Jay Sean and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The rally will be topped off with “the biggest fireworks display in the whole country”.
Recently, it is reported that Jay Sean and other artists personally handed over the invitation to David Cameron for the Wembley concert, and with his reply over that he’s excited to join the event.
Modi is the first Indian prime minister ever to be invited to address both houses of parliament. He will visit Indian businesses in the UK and stay a night at Chequers hosted by David Cameron.
He is also unveiling a statue of the 12th-century philosopher Basaveshwara, as well as inaugurating the Ambedkar House museum in north London.
It represents a remarkable turnaround for a man who, until three years ago, had been banned for a decade from entering Britain, the US and several other European countries.
But for all the wild zest in sections of the Indian diaspora, to others his visit to the UK is less welcome.
More than 40 MPs have signed an early-day motion obligating David Cameron to ensure issues of human rights are discussed during Modi’s visit.
In its annual report this year, Amnesty International criticized Modi’s government, saying there had been a rise in communal violence and repeated instances of human rights abuses by armed groups, while arrests and detentions of campaigners and journalists had persisted.
For fewer hundreds, it shows like the hypocrisy of UK’s government’s stance on human rights across the globe on high-profile acceptance of Modi, who have also planned to protest outside Downing Street when Modi arrives there.
While, for thousands of British Indians, this immense welcome is a source of immense pride, and they believe in the Modi’s ambition to makeover the country as a developed nation and reach it to be called as superpower globally.
Well, the issue of Kohinoor diamond is still under vain as it is clear that U.K. policy suggests they aren’t going to return cultural artefacts acquired during colonialism.
With the note that it’s gonna be the largest and probably, the most spectacular welcome any foreign leader has ever received in Britain.
Cover Image Source: Twitter.
I read. I write. A threat to humor, if one liners could kill. Twitter: @profylayush
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