Priti Patel MP, Indian Diaspora champion and Employment Minister, comments on Indo-UK relations during the last two years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi
As the world’s oldest democracy and largest democracy, the UK and India share a long-standing friendship anchored in democratic values, shared history and common interests. This week marks two years since Prime Minister Narendra Modi achieved his landslide victory in the 2014 elections. He set out an ambitious vision for India – one of inclusive, sustainable development. We remain committed to supporting the Prime Minister’s vision for India’s transformation and to taking the UK-India relationship to new heights.
Last year, 50,000 people gathered at a spectacular event at Wembley Stadium to welcome the Prime Minister to the UK. This was his first visit to the country since taking up the role, and the first by an Indian Prime Minister in almost a decade.
During the visit I had the fortune to attend many of the events, including at Wembley Stadium. What really stood out for me was the natural affinity between our two countries, rooted in 1.5 million-strong Indian diaspora in Britain. As the Prime Minister’s Indian Diaspora Champion and Employment Minister I see every day how British Indians have enriched our communities and contributed to the UK’s society, sense of identity and economy. In January, I also had the pleasure to attend the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diva, hosted by Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi, to celebrate the contribution of India diaspora groups from around the world.
In recognition of this, the UK has worked hard to strengthen these people-to-people links in education, science,culture and business even further, as demonstrated by the large number of high-level and Ministerial visits to India in recent months. This year we also launched the UK-India Year of Education, Research and Innovation to drive further partnerships and next year we will hold a joint festival to celebrate our flourishing cultural links.
As we strive to create a bright and prosperous future for both our nations we look to the Indian diaspora to help us connect even more closely with India, and to deepen the long-standing relationship between our two countries