The All Parliamentary Group for British Hindus organised Raksha Bandhan celebration at Portcullis House…reports Ragasudha Vinjamuri, Pcs by Amit Patel, Count Photography
The All Parliamentary Group for British Hindus organised Raksha Bandhan celebration at Portcullis House. The event was attended by parliamentarians including Gavin Barwell MP, Virendra Sharma MP and Rt. Hon. Shailesh Vara MP, and Deputy High Commissioner of India Dr. Virander Paul, among other dignitaries and invitees.
APPG Chairman Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East, welcomed everyone and said: “The APPG was primarily set up with an objective to support and promote the interests of British Hindus to Parliament, to encourage political parties in the UK to actively engage with the British Hindu community and to acknowledge the significant contribution British Hindu community made in all walks of life.”
He emphasised that the most effective way of building awareness in the parliament is for individuals to engage with their local MPs or to urge their local MPs to join it. Speaking of the various initiatives, he highlighted how APPG is playing an active role in lobbying for repealing the caste discrimination legislation that has angered the Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities.
Among other issues lobbied by the APPG was the issue of the minority languages such as Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi and Sanskrit to be available at least up to the GCSE level.
The Deputy High Commissioner of India Dr. Virander Paul rendered congratulations for making APPG an effective platform for active engagement with the community. He highlighted the need for greater awareness in the wider community on the many aspects of Hinduism and on various issues pertaining to India.
Community activist Manu Khajuria made a presentation on the festival and its celebrations across different regions and countries. Hindu scholar and corporate lawyer Dhruv Chhatralia delivered the keynote speech on the occasion and spoke about the festival and its symbolism and said that the festival of Raksha Bandhan reminds us of our duty not only to protect our loved ones but also to protect that which unites us.” He illustrated various examples from around the world to help the audience understand what it means to be a Hindu. Vote of thanks was extended by Virendra Sharma MP, the Vice Chair of APPG while Janhavi Dadarkar was the master of the ceremony. The celebration ended with tying of Rakhis around the wrist by the members present.